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Luis Suárez

Suarez overtakes Messi as he nets overhead kick to become record scorer in South American World Cup qualifiers

15:11 GMT+3 30/03/2022
Luis Suarez Uruguay 2021-22
The Atletico Madrid forward helped his country earn a victory in their final CONMEBOL qualifier with a spot at Qatar 2022 already secure

Luis Suarez overtook Lionel Messi as the record scorer in South American World Cup qualifiers after netting an overhead kick for Uruguay against Chile.

Suarez produced an acrobatic finish to fire Uruguay into the lead in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

Federico Valverde also scored in stoppage time to give Diego Alonso's side a 2-0 victory, but Suarez stole the headlines after setting a new all-time scoring mark in CONMEBOL qualifying.

Suarez leapfrogs Messi

Suarez had previously shared the record with Argentina captain Lionel Messi on 28 goals, but moved one ahead of his former Barcelona team-mate after his spectacular strike against Chile.

The Atletico Madrid star has hit 29 goals in 62 South American qualifying appearances, while Messi failed to improve his tally on his 60th outing for Argentina as they drew 1-1 with Ecuador on the same night.

Top ten list of top scorers in CONMEBOL qualifying

Player

Country

Goals scored

Luis Suarez

Uruguay

29

Lionel Messi

Argentina

28

Marcelo Martins

Bolivia

22

Hernan Crespo

Argentina

19

Alexis Sanchez

Chile

19

Edinson Cavani

Uruguay

18

Marcelo Salas

Chile

18

Ivan Zamorano

Chile

17

Joaquin Botero

Bolivia

16

Agustin Delgado

Ecuador

16

Suarez reflects on a 'special night'

Uruguay had already qualified for the 2022 World Cup prior to the meeting with Chile, but the win ensured that they finished third in the CONMEBOL table behind Brazil and Argentina, with Ecuador grabbing the final automatic spot.

Suarez was delighted with his country's fourth successive victory under Alonso, who replaced Oscar Tabarez as head coach in December, and also acknowledged his record-breaking goal by saving his match day jersey.

“Special night, special game, special shirt and a goal,” The 35-year-old wrote on social media.

“What more could I ask for in unique and unforgettable moments for my country?”

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