Lionel Messi put his PSG woes aside to become the first male South American player ever to score 80 international goals

Lionel Messi, Claudio Tapia.
  • Lionel Messi became first South American player ever to score 80 international goals as Argentina beat Uruguay.
  • The PSG forward opened the scoring in a 3-0 win in World Cup qualifying.
  • "Everything worked out perfectly," he said after the match.

Lionel Messi became first South American player in men's soccer history to score 80 international goals as he helped Argentina beat Uruguay 3-0 in World Cup qualifying on Monday.

The 34-year-old opened the scoring on the night with a floated cross that crept into the far corner of the net.

Last month, Messi had surpassed Brazilian legend Pele as South America's record international male goalscorer when he hit a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Bolivia. He still trails women's soccer legend Marta by 32 goals, with the Brazilian scoring 112 so far in her career.

After his goal against Uruguay, the PSG star was presented with a CONMEBOL award by the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia.

The award featured a photo of Messi lifting the Copa America title, which he helped his country win in July.

"We played a great game. Everything worked out perfectly," said Messi after Argentina's victory, which was sealed by goals from Rodrigo de Paul and Lautaro Martinez.

"Uruguay wait for you and they generate danger. Once we got the first goal we started to find space and the goals appeared."

While Messi is still doing the business for his country, he has thus far struggled to make much of an impact for his new club side, Paris Saint Germain.

Since leaving Barcelona to join the Ligue 1 giant this summer, Messi has scored just once in five matches, while he has also failed to register a single assist.

His only goal for his new club came against Manchester City in the Champions League, after which he said: "I was getting desperate to score my first goal."

He added: "I am settling into the team little by little."

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