As the eternal Ronaldo vs. Messi debate continues to rage, we decide to take a look at the goalscoring prowess of diminutive Argentinian Lionel Messi who many regard as the greatest footballer of all time. So how many goals has Messi scored?
How many goals has Messi scored?
As of 1st March 2020, Lionel Messi scored 696 career goals for both club and country. In terms of career goals, the only active player close to rivalling Messi’s numbers, Cristiano Ronaldo, is still in the lead though with 725 career goals. However, the Portuguese star has played 145 career games more. It seems only a matter of time before the two year younger Messi overtakes his rival.
Messi’s goal stats
In May 2019, Lionel Messi scored his 600th goal for Barcelona in their 3-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League. A beautiful long-range free kick hit the net 14 years to the day after his first ever Barcelona goal. It’s one of many amazing Messi stats which began when he joined Newell’s Old Boys at the age of seven, where he scored almost 500 goals in six years.
After signing with Barcelona’s youth academy in 2000, the diminutive 13-year-old scored 36 goals in 30 matches during his first full season.
Rising through the ranks at Nou Camp, he played for five Barcelona youth and reserve teams, scoring a total of 36 goals in the 2003-04 season, before making his first-team debut at 16 years, four months and 23 days.
In 2007, 20-year-old Messi scored his first hat-trick in an El Clásico clash against fierce rivals Real Madrid.
He finished the 2010-11 season with 53 goals and 24 assists in all competitions, making him Barcelona’s all-time highest single-season top scorer and the first player in Spanish football history to reach the 50-goal benchmark.
In 2012, Messi broke a 40-year-old record held by the German legend Gerd Müller when he set a new record for the most goals in a calendar year – 91.
During the 2012-13 season he scored in 21 consecutive La Liga games. He only failed to score in four league games that season.
Messi scored five times in a Champions League last 16 match against Bayer Leverkusen and finished the league season as top scorer once again, with 50 goals in 37 appearances, a La Liga record.
He surpassed César Rodríguez’s record of 190 league goals, becoming Barcelona’s all-time top scorer in La Liga.
The next season saw him overtake Paulino Alcántara’s 369 goals to become Barcelona’s top goal scorer in all competitions, and another hat-trick against Real Madrid saw him become the all-time top scorer in El Clásico.
In the 2014-15 season Messi set numerous records, including becoming the all-time top scorer in La Liga, scoring the most hat-tricks in Spanish football history and becoming the first player to become top scorer in five Champions League seasons.
In 2017, he scored a record sixth hat-trick in the Champions League during a 7-0 victory over Celtic. His career tally for Barcelona reached the 500 mark in a 3–2 away win over Real Madrid and he became Barcelona’s all-time top-scorer from free-kicks with 27 goals.
In the 2017–18 season, Messi scored his 100th Champions League goal in a 3–0 home win over Chelsea. He became the second player to do so after Cristiano Ronaldo but managed the feat at a younger age and having played fewer minutes than his rival.
In January 2019, he scored his 400th La Liga goal in his 435th league appearance. Messi became the first player ever to reach this tally in one of Europe’s top five leagues. During the course of the same year, he also scored his 50th hat-trick.
Although Lionel Messi is less successful with his country than with Barcelona in terms of silverware, he is no less motivated or less accurate as a finisher. In fact, Messi is Argentina’s all time top scorer with 70 goals in 138 appearances. An average of one goal every two games and almost double the amount of Argentina legend Diego Maradona.
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