ANKARA – Displacing the legendary Pele, Lionel Messi took the crown of all-time leading goal scorer in the South American confederation (CONMEBOL) men's history with his latest hat-trick against Bolivia.

Argentina on Thursday beat Bolivia 3-0, with Messi responsible for all three goals, in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers at the Antonio Vespucio Liberti Stadium in Argentina.

The Argentine icon now tops the men's top scorer list with 79 goals, beating out the previous record-holder, Brazil’s Pele with 77 goals.

Messi currently shares the fifth spot on the list of all-time top international men's goal scorers with Godfrey Chitalu of Zambia with 79 goals, while Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list with 111 goals.

Argentina took the number two spot with 18 points in the 2022 CONMEBOL World Cup Qualification group table, while Brazil tops the chart with 24 points. (Anadolu)