Lionel Messi will make his 500th LaLiga appearance for Barcelona in Sunday’s meeting with Huesca after returning to Ronald Koeman’s starting line-up.
Messi missed Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Eibar after he was given an extended break over Christmas to nurse an ankle problem.
However, Koeman confirmed on Saturday that the 33-year-old had trained on December 30 and 31, and Messi has subsequently returned to Barca’s starting XI for a landmark outing at Estadio El Alcoraz.
Messi’s 500 league appearances for Barca is five short of the club-record held by Xavi, who also holds the record for all-time appearances for the Blaugrana with 767.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 3, 2021
Xavi’s total is 17 more than Messi’s current tally of 750, including Sunday’s game.
The record for the most matches ever played in LaLiga is held by former goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta, with 662 games under his belt for Athletic Club, Barca and Valencia.
Barca make the trip to Huesca unbeaten in five league matches, but they have drawn two of their last three and enter the game 13 points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.
Messi was directly involved in four goals in his only previous LaLiga game against Huesca, scoring twice and providing two assists in September 2018.
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