Lionel Messi is arguably in the conversation as one of the best to ever play the beautiful game. Through his career, he’s set numerous records and here are five that the Argentine magician has accomplished that may never be broken.
#1. Most goals in La Liga – 390 goals
Lionel Messi has scored 390 goals in 427 La Liga games with an impressive goals to games ratio of 0.91! He currently has a lead of 79 goals over the second highest goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo. Even if Ronaldo still played for Real Madrid, it would have been extremely difficult for him to catch up with Messi.
To put things into perspective, among the active players in La Liga, the second highest goalscorer is Aritz Aduriz of Athletic Bilbao who has 154 goals in 399 games.
#2. Most goals in a calendar year – 91 goals
In 1972, Gerd Muller set the record for most goals in a calendar year when he scored 85 goals for Bayern Munich and Germany. It took 40 years for that record to be broken when Messi scored 91 goals in 2012.
He scored 79 goals in 60 games for Barcelona and 12 goals in nine games for Argentina. That’s an average of 1.319 goals per game which isn’t as good as Muller’s 1.417.
Messi scored a brace in 22 games and nine hat-tricks including a pair of four-goal games and a Champions League record five goals against Bayer Leverkusen. Incredibly, he achieved this feat despite not scoring in 22 games.
#3. Youngest player to win four Ballon d’Or awards
Messi was 25 years, 6 months and 15 days old when he lifted his fourth Ballon d’Or award and he is also the only player to win the award on four consecutive occasions.
He has won the prestigious honour five times overall which is the joint highest in the award’s history along with Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the opportunity to win it a sixth time in 2018 but it will prove to be very difficult given Argentina’s poor World Cup.
Given the competitive nature of the game and the potential number of candidates for the award every year, it is unlikely that Messi’s record for being the youngest player to win four Ballon d’Or awards will ever be broken.
#4. Most consecutive league matches scored in – 21 matches
In the 2012/13 season, Messi scored 33 goals in 21 consecutive league games. His run started in November 2012 and ended on the final matchday of the season when he failed to score against Atletico Madrid.
Incredibly, Messi scored against every team in the league during this run and failed to score in only four league games all season.
The second best record in Europe’s Top 5 leagues belongs to Gerd Muller who scored 22 goals in 16 consecutive games for Bayern Munich in the 1969/70 season.
#5. Most goals for one club in the top 5 European leagues – 564 goals
This is yet another record that Messi achieved by surpassing Gerd Muller. Muller scored 525 goals in 574 games for Bayern Munich between 1965 and 1979 and Messi broke the record 38 years later when he scored against Real Madrid on 23 December 2017.
Messi has taken his tally of goals for Barcelona to 564 in 649 games. Still only 31, he can score more than 700 goals before he retires or leaves Barcelona.
In modern day football, you rarely see a prolific goalscorer stay with one club for almost the entirety of their professional career and even if someone did, then they would have to be as good as Messi or even better than him to surpass the Argentine’s tally for Barcelona.