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Messi, Suarez equal Ronaldo record with goals in World Cup qualifiers

The former team-mates just happened to bring up the milestone within hours of each other

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both found the back of the net on Thursday night to equal Ronaldo’s record for most goals scored for a South American national team in competitive matches.

All three have now struck 39 times in such games with Suarez the first to equal the Brazil legend’s haul courtesy of a first-half penalty in a controversial 2-1 win over Chile.

Former Barcelona team-mate Messi then matched the milestone in similar fashion as he scored from the spot in a narrow 1-0 win over Ecuador.

Overall, the Argentina captain has struck more than both Ronaldo and Suarez on the international stage with 71 senior goals to his name.

Messi struggled to carve out chances on Thursday against a stubborn Ecuador side as he touched the ball just once inside the opposition’s penalty box – that single touch coming when he converted Argentina’s penalty in the 13th minute.

The 33-year-old did create two chances however, a stat only bettered on the night by Lautaro Martinez, who has scored the most goals in the Lionel Scaloni era so far.

It was a similar story for Suarez against Chile with his penalty the only shot he managed across 90 minutes with Oscar Tabarez’s side relying on an injury-time winner from Maxi Gomez.

Speaking after the game, the new Atletico Madrid striker opened up on his Barcelona departure and spoke about Messi’s anger at how he was forced to leave Camp Nou.

“I was not surprised about Messi because I know him too well, I knew the pain he felt, as I did,” Suarez said.

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