Messi scores five goals, Nations League double for Ronaldo


Argentina striker Lionel Messi scored five goals in a 5-0 friendly win over Estonia on Sunday, a result that helped him overtake Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas among the top international scorers of all time.

The former Barcelona player was able to shine once again on Spanish soil in a match played at the El Sadar stadium in the northern city of Pamplona, ​​430 kilometers from what he called home for 21 years.

Messi, who has now scored 86 times in 162 international appearances, opened the scoring with an eighth-minute penalty as he waited for goalkeeper Matvei Igonen to kick in before firing the ball into the bottom right corner.

The 34-year-old doubled Argentina’s lead just before half-time, netting another two minutes into the second half. He sealed the score with two more strikes in the 71st and 76th minutes.

The Argentina captain has caught up and left behind the former Hungarian and – on four occasions – Spanish striker, who has scored 84 goals in 89 games.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker also became the first player to score five times in a single European Cup or Champions League clash and in an international match at senior level.

He has already found the back of the net five times 10 years ago, when Barcelona beat Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg at Camp Nou.

Messi is now three goals behind former Malaysian striker Mokhtar Dahari, third in the international scoring charts. Iranian Ali Daei (109) is second, while Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo remains first with 117 goals.

Ronaldo scored twice Portugal swept to an emphatic 4-0 win over Swiss during their UEFA Nations League clash at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon.

William Carvalho and Joao Cancelo were also on the scoresheet as the hosts squandered numerous chances to inflict more humiliation on the visitors, who suffered their biggest defeat since losing to Germany by the same scoreline in 2008.

Portugal have four points from their first two Group A2 matches and edge second-placed Czech Republic on goal difference. Switzerland are at zero after back-to-back defeats and are now winless in their last four meetings since qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar.

Carvalho opened the scoring when he reacted fastest to the stray ball when Ronaldo’s free kick was parried, before the latter netted a quick brace to take his international goals record to 117.

Ronaldo should have scored a hat-trick when he squandered two excellent chances before half-time, the first a barely credible miss from six yards out, but it was left to Cancelo to score the fourth for Portugal in the second half.

Portugal host Czech Republic in their next game on Thursday, while Switzerland entertains Spain in Geneva the same evening.

A late goal from defender Inigo Martinez saved a 2-2 draw for the Spaniards against the Czechs in their clash.

The hosts took an early lead after Sparta Prague striker Jakub Pesek scored from close range in the fourth minute, from a pass from Jan Kuchta that came in behind the Spanish defence.

The visitors equalized at half-time when Spanish midfielder Gavi, one of three players to retain his place in the squad after manager Luis Enrique made eight changes since the 1-1 draw against Portugal beat Czech goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik with a shot. at the far post.

However, the Czechs retook the lead in the 66th minute when striker Jan Kuchta lobbed goalkeeper Unai Simon just outside the box after he was sent through on goal alone.

Spain scored in the 90th minute to break the hearts of home fans when Martinez connected with a Marco Asensio cross and his header just went over the line.

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