Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player, but his legacy at the Spanish club is a series of records that few may approach in the years to come.
For 21 years, right from enrolling at La Masia as a 13-year-old to making his senior debut in 2003, the Argentine has risen above all competition and made his success synonymous with that of Barcelona and La Liga.
He has played 778 games for Barcelona in all competitions, scoring 672 goals and 266 assists – playing a direct role in a total of 938 goals.
Since his senior debut, he has broken every record and scripted new history not just at Camp Nou but also in the Spanish top flight, European football and even in international football.
The record of six Ballon d’Or awards – one more than his perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo – is standing proof of his individual stamp in a team sport. He is the only player in history to win the Ballon d’Or, Fifa World Player, Pichichi Trophy (La Liga top goalscorer) and Golden Boot (European top goalscorer) in the same season.
It would be a disservice to Lionel Messi if his time at Barcelona and in La Liga is condensed to numbers but it’s also the biggest metric of the void his exit leaves in its wake.
Here’s a look at some of Messi’s biggest and most important stats at Barcelona and La Liga:
Messi at Barcelona
|Copa del Rey||56|
|Spanish Super Cup||14|
|European Super Cup||3|
|Club World Cup||5|
35 – the number of trophies Messi won in a Barcelona shirt. He has won four Champions Leagues, 10 Spanish championships, seven Copas del Rey, three European Super Cups, eight Spanish Super Cups and three Club World Cups.
542 – the number of victories by Barca in Messi’s 778 appearances (another record)
50 – the number of goals scored by Messi in La Liga in the 38 matches of the 2011-2012 season, a record. That season he scored a total of 73 (another record).
474 – the number of goals scored by the ‘Pulga’ (flea) in La Liga in 520 games played with Barcelona (0.91 goals per game), the most in La Liga history.
671 – The number of goals scored for Barcelona in all competitions. That’s 28 more than Pele scored with Santos between 1956 and 1974, making him the top-scorer for one club.
41 – the number of hat-tricks he has, apart from 6 four-goal games and had one five-goal game.
21 – the number of consecutive games in which Messi found the net in La Liga in the 2012/2013 season.
26 – the number of goals scored in El Clasico, against arch-rivals Real Madrid.
91 – The record for most number of goals scored in a calendar year. He scored 91 official goals in 2012, 84 with Barcelona (59 in the League, 13 in the Champions League, 5 in the Copa del Rey and 2 in the Super Cup) and 12 with the Argentine national team.
Here’s how Messi’s numbers rack up against his peers and rivals
Most appearances for Barcelona
All-time top scorers in La Liga
Top goalscorers for Barcelona
Most goals in a La Liga season
|Cristiano Ronaldo||2014–15||Real Madrid||48||35|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||2011–12||Real Madrid||46||38|
After 17 years of being among the biggest stars of La Liga, Messi already owns most of the top records. This is just a brief look, at some of other records the 34-year-old owns in the Spanish top flight, a league which has seen the biggest names in international football in action. Admittedly, Messi has played in La Liga the longest, but as with all things, even this streak has ended.
Messi’s other La Liga records:
- Most career league assists: 192
- Most assists made in a season: 21, Lionel Messi (2019–20)
- Most league goals scored in a calendar year: 59, Lionel Messi (2012)
- Most league home goals in a season (38 games, 19 home games): 35, Lionel Messi (2011–12)
- Most league away goals in a season (38 games, 19 away games): 24, Lionel Messi (2012–13)
- Most league matches scored in a season (38 games): 27, Lionel Messi (2012–13)
- Most league home matches scored in a season (38 games): 16, Lionel Messi (2011–12)
- Most league away matches scored in a season (38 games): 15, Lionel Messi (2012–13)
- Most opponents scored against in La Liga history: 38, Lionel Messi
- Most consecutive league appearances scored in: 21, Lionel Messi (33 goals, from matchday 11 to matchday 34, season 2012–13)
- Most hat-tricks scored in La Liga history: 36, Lionel Messi
- Most stadiums scored at in La Liga history: 36, Lionel Messi
- Most wins in La Liga history: 383, Lionel Messi
- Most Pichichi awards: 8, Lionel Messi
- Most La Liga Best Player awards: 6, Lionel Messi
- Most La Liga Best Forward awards: 7, Lionel Messi
- Only player to score 30+ goals in 8 different seasons: Lionel Messi
Many of Messi’s personal records will continue as he begins a new chapter in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain. Indeed, he can add more clubs to his record of having scored against the most teams in the Champions League if he is up against Barcelona.
But the Argentine’s stats at Barca and Camp Nou will likely stand the test of time in this era of modern football.
With Inputs from AFP and FC Barcelona
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