The Argentine superstar has made scoring wonderful strikes a habit for himself.

It took the football world by surprise when FC Barcelona announced Lionel Messi was leaving the club. Messi, who joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old, has been the club’s talisman for over a decade now. He lifted a record 34 titles at Barcelona, including four Champions League trophies. As much as taking the club to newer heights, Lionel Messi also achieved numerous milestones. He is a six-time Ballon d’Or winner and among the highest goalscorers and assist makers in football history.

Lionel Messi wanted to leave the club in the summer ahead of the 2020-21 season. He tried to force his way out before settling for a compromise and extending his stay. However, the 34-year-old did not sign a contract extension, making him a free agent at the end of the season. Eventually, Barcelona and Lionel Messi reached an agreement for a new five-year contract with Messi taking a 50% cut in wages.

However, with Barcelona’s wage structure skyrocketing and new La Liga financial regulations, it became impossible for the club to retain Messi. As a result, Messi left his long-time home ahead of the 2021-22 season. ‘This is my home, I wanted to stay,” Messi said in his farewell speech after the club announced the decision.

Lionel Messi’s departure marks the end of an era for Barcelona. With him leading their line, the Blaugrana won everything that was there for the taking. Messi leaves as the club’s all-time highest capped, goalscorer and assists maker. During him time at Camp Nou, Messi scored some amazing goals, many of them simply full of class.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 goals Lionel Messi scored during his association with FC Barcelona.

10. Against Manchester United (2008/09)

Watch: Lionel Messi scores a header against United

In the 2008/09 Champions League final, the rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, which would go on for the next two decades, was just taking form. Messi scored one of the best goals of his career, leaping onto the end of a cross from Xavi, to head the ball past Edwin Van Der Saar. 

Despite his diminutive frame, Messi was able to flummox and beat both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in the air. 

9. Against Estudiantes (2009/10)

The final of the Club World Cup in 2009 was played between Estudiantes and FC Barcelona. Lionel Messi left his inevitable mark when he dribbled past two defenders to chest the ball into the net. The Argentine displayed remarkable skill to judge the flight of the ball, flung into the box and adjusted his body accordingly. 

8. Versus Celta Vigo (2015/16)

FC Barcelona frontline, that consister of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr was dominating European football in the 2015/16 campaign. The season was strewn with goals worthy of winning Puskas awards. When Messi lined up a free-kick from the 35 yards, even the most optimistic of Barcelona fans did not believe he would find the top corner. 

A few moments later, with his wand of a left boot, he smashed the ball into the top right.

7. Against Arsenal (2010/11)

Another Champions League masterpiece from the little magician. Messi faced off against the Gunners in the final of the competition. Andreas Iniesta and Lionel Messi dribbled past the Arsenal backline, interchanging the ball between themselves. Messi dinked the ball over the goalkeeper, got it under control and smashed it into the net on the half volley. 

6. Versus Sevilla (2011/12)

In the 2011/12 campaign, Lionel Messi was enjoying one of the most incredible individual campaigns of all-time. When Barcelona faced Sevilla in La Liga, the Argentine scored a goal that described him perfectly. The ball found Messi from the left flank. He took one sleek touch to slip it through the opposition defender’s legs and another to chip it delightfully over the keeper and into the net. 

5. Against Bayern Munich (2014/15)

Watch: Lionel Messi leaves Jerome Boateng on his back

Messi’s goal against Bayern Munich went viral on the internet because of Jerome Boateng’s hapless defending against the maestro. Messi received the ball in the right side of the box and pushed onto the German defender. A couple of shoulder drops and Boateng was on the floor and Messi was chipping Neuer to score one of the best UCL goals in his career. 

4. Against Real Zaragoza (2009/2010)

Messi showed off his surprising strength, when he held the ball away from a determined Ander Herrera, before dribbling past three Zaragoza defenders. The Argentine smashed the ball behind the goalkeeper and the world stood in awe of his irrepressible brilliance. 

3. Against Real Madrid in El Clasico (2010/2011)

El Clasico is one of the biggest club rivalries in the world and was arguably the biggest when Lionel Messi and Ronaldo graced it. In the 2010-11 El Clasico, Messi picked up the ball 40 yards away from goal and went on one of his trademark slalomed runs into the Madrid defence. He dribbled past no less than five defenders to score a fantastic solo goal against their bitter rivals. 

2. Versus Athletic Bilbao (2014/2015)

In the 2014-15 campaign, Lionel Messi scored one of the greatest goals of all-time. He picked the ball on the right flank deep in his own half and was instantly surrounded by a number of Bilbao defenders. The next few seconds were a blur of shoulder drops and dummies and before you knew it, Messi was cutting in on his left and slotting it past the goalkeeper.

1. Against Getafe (2006/2007)

Watch: Lionel Messi scores a Maradona-esque goal

In the 2006/07 campaign, Lionel Messi’s stock was just beginning to rise. His reputation skyrocketed after the jaw-dropping goal he scored against Getafe in La Liga. Messi wrestled himself onto the ball well and set off on a run that was reminiscent of Maradona in his prime. In a flash, he had found his way past the entire Getafe team and one-on-one with the keeper. A quick shift of the ball to the right and an empty net was waiting. The world was introduced to the enigma that was Lionel Messi.

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