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Lionel Messi scores twice after Argentina beat Bolivia to reach Copa America quarterfinals

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Image source: AP

Argentina’s Lionel Messi, left, celebrates his team’s second goal from a penalty with teammate Sergio Aguero during a Copa America football match against Bolivia at Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, Brazil, Monday, June 28

Lionel Messi became Argentina’s most limited international player on Monday, scoring two goals as he led his national team to a 4-1 victory over Bolivia in the Copa America.

The 148th appearance of the 34-year-old Messi for Argentina beat the brand previously held by retired defender Javier Mascherano.

His two goals and one assist helped Argentina secure first place in Group A by hosting a quarter-final against Ecuador on Saturday.

Messi made his debut in Argentina in 2005 with a 2-1 victory in a friendly match against Hungary. He was sent off during that match after hitting an opponent with his elbow.

The Barcelona striker, who holds the highest 75 goals for Argentina of all time, is also aiming to break two South American records: Pele as the national team’s top scorer (77 for Brazil) and Chile’s Sergio Livingston from 34 for most Copa America appearances ( Messi has 31).

Diego Maradona scored 32 goals in 87 games for Argentina, including the 1986 World Cup triumph. Messi, despite his impressive individual stats, has yet to win a major title for Argentina.

He was runner-up in the 2014 World Cup and in two editions of the Copa America in 2015 and in ’16.

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