Lionel Messi scores twice for Argentina against Peru as Brazil’s Neymar suffers injury

Lionel Messi became the all-time top scorer in South American World Cup qualifying with both goals in Argentina’s 2-0 win over Peru.

Messi, 36, opened the scoring after 32 minutes and added a second with a spectacular finish moments later.

He now has 31 goals in Conmebol World Cup qualifiers, surpassing Luis Suarez 29 for Uruguay.

“This team is incredible. Every time they play they are very close to being the best in history,” Messi said.

“On a game level I think we have grown. After winning the World Cup we are confident, very loose, more united and firm. Hopefully we can continue to grow.”

Forward Messi missed Inter Miami’s US Open Cup final defeat by Houston Dynamo last month because of injury and had not started a match for his club since 21 September.

He came on as a substitute in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Paraguay on Thursday and started in Lima on Tuesday.

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said: “The team has understood Messi for a long time. It benefits him and he feels comfortable.

“I hope he plays as much as he can because everyone is happy to see him on the pitch.”

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