The PSG star approaches major career milestones
Lionel Messi doesn’t have much to gain in a truly amazing football career in which the Paris Saint-Germain superstar has won every major trophy available, including three Champions League triumphs with Barcelona and that already elusive one. World Cup winner’s medal for Argentina.
In fact, the only competition Messi has not played in and won in his professional career is the French Cup, although that elusive piece of silverware will have to wait until next season after Marseille beat PSG on February 8. he stopped doing his personal cleaning.
However, since his senior debut in 2004, Messi has accumulated numerous honors and individual records. And, even at the age of 35, he is still approaching many significant achievements.
Here we take a look at his trophy, his major career stats and the impressive array of records he already holds, as well as a full rundown of his major career milestones in sight, with regular updates as each one approaches.
Messi’s career trophies
Since turning pro 19 years ago, Messi has been racking up trophies at an absurd pace. In fact, 2013-14 and 2019-20 were the only trophyless seasons of his career (“baby” He won as LaLiga’s top scorer in 2019-20).
The Argentine has one of the most decorated players in football 40 major honors his name at club and international level, leaving him behind only former Barca teammate Dani Alves’ 46 caps. Messi’s long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo has 34 trophies under his belt.
Messi has won More major trophies with Barcelona (35) than any other player In the 123-year history of the Catalan club. A total of 10 LaLiga titles, including eight Spanish Super Cups, seven Copa del Rey and four Champions Leagues (in 2005-06, when a teenage Messi made six appearances, including starts in both legs of the last-16 tie against Chelsea).
Messi won two major club titles in his first season in France (Ligue 1 title and Trophee des Champions), as well as international honors with Argentina; CONMEBOL-UEFA Champions Cup (Also known as the final), America’s Cup and FIFA World Cup.
Messi has many individual records that belong to him as one of the greatest of all time. He has He won the Ballon d’Or for being the best player in the world seven times, two more than Ronaldo, who is next on the list. No other player, male or female, has won more than three times.
He is the only player who has also had Messi He won the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball twice: first when he lost to the final in 2014, and again after leading his country to glory in the 2022 tournament.
As well as being the most decorated player at his regular club, so is Messi Barca’s top scorer (672) and appearance creator (778) following his 17-year association.
He also holds the record Most goals scored by any player in LaLiga (474) also Most goals scored in a single LaLiga season (50) After reaching half a century in 2011-12. Incredibly, Messi also holds the record Most La Liga career assists in LaLiga (192) and for the record Most assists in a single season (21, 2019-20)thus proving its extraordinary value as a creative force.
The former Barça striker also scored a goal most career hat tricks in LaLiga (36) than any other player, even disk sharing Most caps in a single season (eight, in 2011-12) With Ronaldo, who equaled the feat for Real Madrid in 2014-15.
Messi’s untouchable form in 2012 also set a mark as a man scoring the most goals in a single calendar year 91 times: 79 for Barca, 12 for Argentina.
He is too the most common goalscorer El Classico the matches Between Barca and Real with 26 goals in 45 games. Ronaldo is second on 18 goals (in 30 games) along with Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano.
In a testament to Messi’s longevity and consistency, he has More LaLiga appearances than any other foreign-born player (520) even won More top-flight titles in Spain than any other non-Spanish player (10).
While Ronaldo remains the all-time top scorer in the Champions League with 140 goals, Messi holds the record. Most hat tricks in the competition (eight, tied with Ronaldo). It was him First player to score five goals in a single Champions League game In the last 16 of 2011-12 when he smashed a five-pointer against Bayer Leverkusen.
Messi also holds Champions League records most goals in the last eight (29 goals) and most goals scored in the group stage (80), Ronaldo, on the other hand, holds the respective records for the overall qualification (67), quarter-finals (25), semi-finals (13) and semi-finals (4).
Lionel Messi holds the record They scored the most home goals in the Champions League with 78 (Ronaldo holds the record for goals away from home with 63), and at the same time Only player in the history of the competition to score against 40 different opponents. He has also scored more goals in the Champions League for one club (120 for Barcelona) than any other player.
And to add some icing to an already high cake, Messi’s run Scoring in 18 consecutive Champions League seasons It is also a competition record between 2005-06 and 2022-23.
ACHIEVE 1000th career game (Messi on 1015).
Messi took his senior caps for club and country to four figures at the 2022 World Cup in their last-16 victory over Australia. Naturally, he scored one of the goals in a 2-1 win en route to lifting the trophy.
ACHIEVE 700 club goals (Messi on 701).
The split between Barcelona (672) and PSG means that Messi has reached the same milestone as Ronaldo
Messi scored his 700th goal in PSG’s 3-0 win at Marseille on 26 February 2023.
900 career club games (Messi on 853)
Messi could see the 900th appearance of his senior club career on the horizon. The maximum number of games left on PSG’s schedule this season won’t get there, but it could come in the latter part of the 2023-24 campaign.
800 career goals (Messi 799)
Messi is close to becoming only the second player ever to reach the 800-goal milestone (depending on the numbers you use), behind Ronaldo, who brought up his eighth century with a brace in Manchester United’s 3-2 win. Arsenal in December 2021.
As far as the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) is concerned, Ronaldo is currently the world record holder with 829 official goals for club and country. But other sources differ due to historical discrepancies in the classification of “official” goals scored in “official” competitions.
For example, Pele claimed to have scored more than 1,000 goals in his career, but due to the unreliability of data collected during his time in the 1950s and 60s, and which goals count in “official” matches as opposed to “friendly” ones. ,” the Brazilian legend’s tally could be as high as 757 goals.
700 career penalty goals (Messi in 691)
Although many consider his consistency from the spot to be one of the weakest elements of his game, Messi has still successfully converted 108 times from 12 yards for club and country.
20 consecutive years with a senior goal (Messi 19)
Messi only needs to find it once next year (2024) to complete two decades of recording at least one goal in each season. Two years Messi’s age, Ronaldo’s goalscoring streak is 22 years in a row now that he has opened his account for 2023 with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr.
300 club attendances (Messi 297)
For all his goalscoring haul over the years, Messi is also a very consistent contributor and so is just a few balls away from reaching 300 in the club competition, a realistic achievement before the end of the campaign.
1,000 club goal contributions (Messi in 998)
To hammer home the full nature of his attacking talent, Messi’s career goal contributions (ie goals and assists) in club football are close to four figures. Amazing.
500 Club League goals (Messi 493)
Ronaldo became the first of the pair to surpass 500 goals in league games for the club on 10 February after scoring his 11th career four-goal haul against Al Wehda for Al Nassr. However, Messi is not far behind, and is even closer. Surpassing Ronaldo’s 495 goals in Europe’s top five leagues.
50 goals in Champions League playoffs (Messi with 49)
Messi closes in on his half-century of goals at the business end of Europe’s top club competition, with only one man ahead of him: Ronaldo holds the record with 67 goals in 80 games leading up to the last eight and the final.
100 senior international goals (Messi in 98)
Already his team’s all-time leading look-maker (172 caps) and goalscorer (98 goals), Messi is close to becoming the first Argentine player to score 100 goals. With a great distance behind Messi, Gabriel Batistuta is second on the list AlbicelesteWith 56 goals in 78 games, the great Diego Maradona is fifth overall with 34 goals in 91 games.
Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer for senior internationals, with 118 in 196 games for Portugal.
Although both players are closer to 30 to 40 years old, they hope to continue writing records for a while yet.
Editor’s note: This tracker follows Messi’s senior career and therefore does not include Argentina appearances, goals or assists at youth level or Barcelona’s B and C teams.
ESPN’s Statistics and Information Group contributed to this report