Lionel Messi broke yet another Barcelona record on Saturday, becoming the most prolific free-kick goalscorer in the history of the club – surpassing Ronald Koeman’s 26 set-piece strikes.
Barcelona already led 1-0 against Athletic Bilbao through Paco Alcacer when five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi stepped up to take a set-piece from close to the byline on the right of the penalty area.
The Argentine’s low shot was on target but Gorka Iraizoz should have kept it out after getting a hand to the effort, the Athletic goalkeeper’s failure to do so handing Messi a club record 27th free-kick goal for Barcelona.
Messi had drawn level with Koeman’s mark with another free-kick special against Athletic in the Copa Del Rey in January that made it three set-piece goals in three games for the forward, leading the Everton manager to congratulate Messi on social media.
4- Leo Messi has only scored more direct free kick goals in 2012 (5) than in 2017 in all competitions (4), three of them vs Athletic. Expert pic.twitter.com/xK7Mwqc13Q
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 4, 2017
It was a record-breaking day collectively for Barcelona too, as Aleix Vidal added a third to secure the points and score Barcelona’s 100th competitive goal of the season so far in the process.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 4, 2017
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