FC Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi had a magical night as he single-handedly guided his country to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and broke a South American record along the way.
Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see the record scorers in South American World Cup qualifiers, as listed by The Sun.
The 30-year-old scored a hat-trick in his side's crucial 3-1 away victory over Ecuador to book the Albiceleste's 2018 World Cup ticket.
The hosts opened the scoring after just 40 seconds, but goals in the 12th and 20th minute turned the game in Argentina's favour before Messi added his third in the 62nd minute.
The hat-trick took the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's overall tally in South American World Cup qualifying history to 21 goals – more than any other player.
Messi broke the record, which at the time was jointly held by Hernan Crespo and Luis Suarez, with his first strike against Ecuador.
However, the Uruguayan also added a brace in Uruguay's 4-2 win over Bolivia in order to help his nation secure their World Cup spot.
The Barcelona teammates are now the joint all-time record scorers in South American World Cup qualification.
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