Lionel Messi became La Liga’s all-time top scorer with a brilliant hat trick against Sevilla on Saturday night.
Messi, who has spent his entire career at Spanish giants, Barcelona needed just 2 goals to overcome Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 goals and he levelled Zarra’s record with an astonishing free kick in the first half.
Messi then broke the record with a close range finish in the second half before wrapping up another impressive night with a third.
Zarra had scored all his goals for Athletic Bilbao between the 1940s and 1950s, while Messi, who has been at Barcelona from the age of 13, has taken 10 seasons to break the all-time La Liga goal scoring record. The feat is even more astonishing since Messi has made only 250 starts in the league. The 27 year old also drew level with another long time record; he is tied with Raul of Real Madrid for the most goals ever in the UEFA Champions League with 71.
Messi, who came second with Argentina in the 2014 World Cup was in the news earlier in the day when there were rumours of him being sold off to another club, 4 which were linked to his name but his game against Sevilla showed glimpses of the old Messi, who won 4 Ballon d’Or titles in a row before Cristiano Ronaldo got a grasp of the title.
Ronaldo is the next highest goal scorer in the league with 197 goals for Real Madrid although he is 2 years older than the Argentine.
Here are just some of the records Messi holds for Barcelona
La Liga top scorer: 253
UEFA Champions League top scorer (joint): 71
Most goals in a season: 68
Most Ballon d’Ors: 4
Most La Liga hat tricks in a season: 8
Most goals in a calendar year: 91
Most goals in El Clasico: 21
Most European Cup top scorer awards (joint): 4
Barcelona’s top goal scorer: 368
Most consecutive La Liga matches scored in: 21
Most goals in a La Liga season: 50
Most goals in Club world Cup (joint): 4
Most goals in a single European game (joint): 5
Barcelona Manager, Luis Enrique was all praise for the Argentine forward who made his debut for Barcelona as a 17 year old in October 2004 and now holds almost all the scoring records for Barcelona and in La Liga.
“Messi is without doubt the best player I’ve seen as a player and a coach, He’s a unique player – there’ll never be anyone like him and we’re lucky to enjoy his presence here,”
“I think he will leave the record unreachable for anyone else.”
Enrique added: “Zarra beat it in an age when there were more forwards than defenders.”
Quotes courtesy: BBC sport
Image courtesy: BBC sport