Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Argentina beat arch-rivals Brazil 4-3 in an end-to-end friendly on Saturday, dealing a blow to the Brazilians as they wrapped up their preparations for the London Olympics.
Messi levelled the scores after 31 minutes after Gonzalo Higuain robbed B razilian captain Sandro and fed the striker with a defense-splitting pass for him to shoot low into the corner of the goal.
Within three minutes, the diminutive striker ran clear again to put Argentina 2-1 up, collecting a pass from Angel di Maria and rounding Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael Cabral.
A young Brazil side, facing a more experienced Argentina, had opened the scoring in the 23rd minute.
Then, with six minutes of normal time left, Messi scored the best goal of the game with a trademark run and an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the goal from outside the penalty area.
"It's always beautiful to beat Brazil and I am very happy with my three goals," Messi told after the game.