Messi's hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier for Argentina against Bolivia on September 9 came just four days after Brazilian legend Pele had undergone surgery for a suspected colon tumour.
"Hi @leomessi, sorry if I'm late. However, I didn't want to pass up the chance to congratulate you for another record broken earlier this month," Pele wrote on Instagram. "Your talent when playing soccer is outstanding! I hope you achieve even more, alongside my friends @k.mbappe and @neymarjr (at PSG)."
Messi surpassed Pele's record of 77 international goals and now boasts 79 in his career. On Friday, Pele's daughter said her 80-year-old father has taken "several steps" towards recovery after his operation three weeks ago.