A career packed with memorable moments, we look at the significant milestones for arguably one of the greatest players of all time Lionel Messi.
Senior Debut – Vs Espanyol 16 October 2004
Aged 17 years, three months and 22 days old, Messi became Barcelona’s youngest ever debutant when he replaced Deco as a substitute in a 1-0 win against Espanyol.
“It is a very important date with regard to my career,” Messi recalled. “I was able to fulfil my childhood dream.”
First goal – v Albacete 1 May 2005
Almost seven months after his senior bow Messi scored the first of many goals, 627 to be precise, in the red and blue colours of Barcelona.
On for Samuel Eto’o, Messi was fed by an outrageously scooped ball from Ronaldinho before the Argentine calmly lifted the ball into the net to get off the mark.
First hat-trick – Vs Real Madrid 10 March 2007
If ever there was a time to score your first hat-trick, then a Clasico at Camp Nou surely tops the list.
Still, in his teenage years, Messi announced himself to the wider world with his treble against Real Madrid. Having already twice pulled Barca level, Messi dribbled through the Real defence in the final minute of play before he unleashed a powerful strike to make it 3-3. In doing so, Messi also became the first player to hit a Clasico treble in 12 years.
Five-Star performance – v Bayer Leverkusen 7 March 2012
In the midst of a stupendous goal-scoring season (73 to be exact), the No.10 became the first player to score five goals in a UEFA Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012.
With 114 goals in Europe’s elite competition, only arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more (128).
Becomes Barca’s all-time leading marksman – v Granada 20 March 2012
Just two weeks after his five-goal haul against Leverkusen, Messi made more history after a hat-trick against Granada saw him become Barcelona’s all-time top scorer.
Aged just 24 years old, Messi overtook the 57-year record of Cesar Rodriguez’s 232 goals and sealed his place at the top of a cherished list.
La Liga’s all-time top scorer – v Sevilla 22 November 2014
Not content with being Barcelona’s all-time leading marksman, Messi claimed the all-time record for La Liga with a hat-trick in a 5-1 win against Sevilla.
Messi’s 253rd league goal saw him surpass legendary Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra and further secure his claim as an all-time great.
600th goal – v Liverpool 1 May 2019
If you’re going to score a historic milestone goal, you may as well make it one to remember.
Messi duly obliged in the first leg of Barca’s Champions League Semi-Final against Liverpool last season. Faced with a free-kick from 25 yards out, Messi put the seal on proceedings with a beautifully curled strike into the top corner to hand the hosts a 3-0 lead. Genius personified.
The less said about the second leg the better…