When Lionel Messi made his competitive debut for Barcelona in October 2004 at the tender age of 17, there was already plenty of buzz about the Argentine wizard following his quick rise through the ranks of La Masia.
The attacker was not only seen as one of Barca’s brightest prospects, but there were also murmurs he could potentially become an all-time great.
Fast-forward 13 years and it is fair to say Messi has lived up to those prodigious expectations.
At the age of 30, the prolific forward holds numerous individual records, while acting as the driving force behind Barca’s mightily impressive trophy haul.
Below, we look at some of the best stats of Messi’s remarkable career and the way it has progressed year by year.
– Messi is La Liga’s all-time top-scorer with 349 goals, at least 64 more than any other player (Cristiano Ronaldo, 285).
– The Argentine is Barcelona’s all-time top-scorer with 507 goals in all competitions.
– Messi was the first player to score five goals in a single Champions League game (versus Bayer Leverkusen in 2012).
– The forward has scored more goals than any other player in El Clasico history (23 – all competitions).
– He has made 583 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions, more than any other non-Spanish player ever for the Catalan club.
– Messi has scored more goals for the same club than any other player in Champions League history (94 goals).
– The 30-year-old is the only La Liga player to reach 40 goals in each of the last eight seasons in all competitions.
– Messi scored 50 goals in LaLiga in 2011-12, the best tally by a player in a single season.
– The forward has won the Ballon d’Or five times, more than any other player in history..
– He is the player with the longest scoring run in La Liga history (21 games).
583 – Total Barcelona appearances
46985 – Minutes played
413 – Games won
103 – Draws
67 – Defeats
507 – Goals
408 – Left-footed goals
75 – Right-footed
22 – Headers
2 – Other
193 – Assists
THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
Aged 17 – Competitive Barcelona debut, first Barcelona goal, first LaLiga title.
18 – Argentina debut, first Argentina goal, second LaLiga, first Champions League, first Supercopa de Espana.
19 – Second Supercopa de Espana, first hat-trick to snatch 3-3 draw in El Clasico.
20 – A disappointing third-place finish in LaLiga heralds Pep Guardiola’s arrival as head coach.
21 – Third LaLiga, second Champions League, first Copa del Rey.
22 – First UEFA Super Cup, first Club World Cup, third Supercopa de Espana, fourth LaLiga, 100th Barcelona goal, first Ballon d’Or, first European Golden Shoe.
23 – Fifth LaLiga, third Champions League, fourth Supercopa de Espana, second Ballon d’Or.
24 – Second UEFA Super Cup, second Club World Cup, fifth Supercopa de Espana, second Copa del Rey, 200th Barcelona goal, third Ballon d’Or, second European Golden Shoe.
25 – Sixth LaLiga, 300th Barcelona goal, fourth Ballon d’Or, third European Golden Shoe.
26 – Sixth Supercopa de Espana, all-time Barcelona top-scorer.
27 – Seventh LaLiga, fourth Champions League, third Copa del Rey, 400th Barcelona goal.
28 – Eighth LaLiga, fourth Copa del Rey, third UEFA Super Cup, third Club World Cup, all-time Argentina top-scorer, fifth Ballon d’Or.
29 – Fifth Copa del Rey, seventh Supercopa de Espana, 500th Barcelona goal, fourth European Golden Shoe.
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