Lionel Messi only played the last 35 minutes in Argentina’s 3-0 win against Jamaica, but had time to score two goals. This double embellishes his 100th victory in selection, Tuesday in Harrison in New Jersey.
The Red Bull Arena, in a festive atmosphere provided by a strong colony of Argentinian supporters, only had eyes for “la Pulga” (the chip). So when the star, spared at kick-off due to flu symptoms having called the coach, entered the field in the 55th minute, the fever suddenly rose.
No less than three fanatics then ran towards Messi to approach him, touch him, even take a selfie, all tackled by the stewards. And in a short time, Messi left his mark on this friendly match put on the right track for Argentina by the opener in the 13th minute from Julio Alvarez.
Messi first scored the second goal on his third attempt, with a shot beyond the rectangle which ended up flush with the post (86th). Three minutes later, he provoked a free kick at the entrance to the surface and did himself justice. His 89 and 90th achievements in 164 selections.
This match also allows him to become the fifth player in history to reach 100 victories in the national team, joining in this closed club the Spaniards Sergio Ramos (131 victories in 180 matches) and Iker Casillas (121 in 167), the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo (112 in 189) and the Mexican Andres Guardado (101 in 177).
In the wake of their No. 10, the Albiceleste meanwhile increased their unbeaten record to 35 games (26 wins, 9 draws). A series started in 2019, which raises it to the level of Brazil (1993-1996), Spain (2007-2009) and Algeria (2018-2022), the record in this area being held by Italy (2018-2021), with 37 matches.