A look at some major records and achievements of Barcelona legend

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Messi had enhanced his La Liga legacy before leaving Barcelona for PSG

Messi had enhanced his La Liga legacy before leaving Barcelona for PSG

Photo : AP

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is celebrating his 35th birthday today.
  • Messi had joined forces with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar at PSG after a trophy-laden stint with Barca.
  • Let’s take a quick look at some major records and achievements of the Barcelona legend and PSG icon.
“Don’t try to explain him, don’t try to write about him; just watch him,” is how Manchester City head coach and former Barcelona captain Pep Guardiola had once described Lionel Messi. If not the greatest, the Argentina captain and Barcelona legend is undoubtedly one of the best players to have ever played the beautiful game. Dribbler, passmaster and a prolific goalscorer, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) superstar Messi is celebrating his 35th birthday today.
It has been more than a year since Messi ended his 21-year association with FC Barcelona. The beating heart of Camp Nou had left Barca for Ligue 1 giants PSG which is deemed as one of the most shocking transfers in modern football. Though Messi is embracing the twilight phase of his iconic career at PSG, there is no denying that the Argentine stalwart will always have a special place in the heart of Barca fans. Having said that, let’s revisit Messi’s record-breaking stint at Camp Nou on his birthday by recalling some of the insane records achieved by the footballing genius.

The former FC Barcelona star is the only player in the history of club football to win Golden Boot, Pichichi Trophy, FIFA World Player and Ballon d’Or in the same season. Messi achieved the monumental feat during the 2009/10 season. Messi had also finished as UEFA Champions League’s top scorer in the same season. Interestingly, the Barca icon had a four-season winning streak of the UCL top scorer award between 2008/09 and 2011/12. The former Barca captain is also the youngest player to secure three Ballons d’Or titles.

Messi is 35 today
Messi is 35 today!
  • Goal machine for a reason
The Argentina captain has won the prestigious Golden Shoe six times in his trophy-laden career. No player in the history of club football has won more Golden Shoes than Messi. Messi’s record six Golden Shoe wins arrived at Barcelona. The 35-year-old has been previously adjudged the winner of the Golden Shoe in 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Did you know? the PSG superstar had set an all-time season record when he netted 50 goals in La Liga 2011/12.
  • All-time top scorer in a calendar year

A world record that is nearly impossible to break, Messi is the all-time top scorer in a calendar year. The former Barcelona captain had etched his name in the history books when he smashed 91 goals in 2012. With Barcelona, Messi scored 84 from 59 matches. Messi netted 13 goals in the Champions League. The goal machine of the Blaugrana netted 5 in the Copa del Rey and completed a brace in the Super Cup. With former world champions Argentina, Messi scored 12 in 2012. The Argentine forward also scored 5 goals in friendly games, taking his overall goal-tally to 96.

  • Most decorated player in history of La Liga

Messi had enhanced his La Liga legacy before leaving Barcelona for PSG. The former Barcelona captain has won the most domestic and international titles in the Spanish top flight. From 2002 to 2020, Messi managed to win 10 leagues, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 7 Copas del Rey, 4 Champions Leagues, 3 Club World Cups and 3 European Super Cups. Messi also claimed six Ballon d’ Or title wins as a Barcelona player. Messi has also won the most number of Pichichi Trophies in the Spanish top-flight (2009/10, 2011/12, 212/13, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21).

Messi shattered a plethora of records at Barca
Messi shattered a plethora of records at Barca

Messi left Barca after becoming the player with most wins in the Spanish league. Messi guided Barca to 383 wins in the domestic arena. With or without Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi remained the face of El Clasico encounters. Messi spearheaded Barca’s attack in 45 matches against Real Madrid (29 in La Liga, 8 in Copa del Rey, 2 in UEFA Champions League and 6 in Spanish Super Cup). Besides playing the most Clasico games, Messi also holds the record of scoring the most El Clásico goals (26).

  • All-time leading goal scorer for the same club

Messi has recorded the most appearances for Argentina and the Barcelona icon has also featured in record 520 La Liga games. The youngest to score 100 and 200 goals at Camp Nou, Messi smashed 672 goals for the Catalan giants in his record-breaking stint. Messi holds the record of scoring the most number of goals for a single club. Earlier, the seven-time Ballon d’or winner had surpassed legendary Pele, who scored 643 goals for Santos from 1956 to 1974.

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