He now needs only 14 more goals to become the all-time record scorer, according to Soccer Laduma.
The Argentine netted a hat-trick in his side’s 4-0 friendly win over Haiti on Wednesday morning, taking his overall tally for the Albiceleste to 64 goals.
In doing so, he bettered the record of Selecao forward Ronaldo, who retired with 62 strikes for Brazil.
Three-time World Cup champion Pele, who sits in seventh spot in the worldwide all-time ranking, is the only South American player to have scored more than Messi.
Pele retired with 77 goals for Brazil, which means Messi needs to score 14 more times to overtake the legendary striker.
The Blaugrana attacker also extended his own record as Argentina’s all-time record scorer, and is now 10 strikes ahead of second-placed Gabriel Batistuta.
Sergio Aguero, who scored his country’s fourth goal in the 4-0 win over Haiti, follows in third place with 38 strikes.
Argentina face Israel next, on June 9, in their final friendly ahead of the 2018 World Cup, before starting their tournament against Iceland on June 16.