The Argentine left no milestone untouched in his glorious sixteen-year stint at the Catalan club
‘The greatest ever to do it’. This is possibly the only epithet that can well-define the exploits of Lionel Andres Messi at Barcelona.
Messi spent twenty-one years at the club including sixteen with the first team. In this time, Messi has turned himself into arguably the greatest player of all time. 778 matches, 672 goals and 305 assists later the mercurial Argentine bid a tearful farewell to the club.
The magnitude of his statistics are staggering and made him the cornerstone of Barcelona’s successes, on and off the pitch. There is no record, no statistic, no milestone and trophy, individual and collective, that Messi has missed out on in his career.
So we have picked ten among the mountain of achievements that the legendary player has achieved in his time with the Blaugrana.
10. Most goals in La Liga
In November 2014, Lionel Messi broke the La Liga record for goals when he surpassed Telmo Zarra’s figure of 251 goals. He ended up with a staggering 474 goals in 520 La Liga games for Barcelona. That translates to an average of 0.91 goals/game. He maintained a stunning ratio of 89 minutes per goal over 520 La Liga games.
For his goals in the league, Messi won the Pichichi Trophy (awarded to the player with the most goals in a league season) a record eight times.
9. Most assists in La Liga
Messi’s brilliance does not only end with scoring goals but also helping his Barcelona teammates do the same. The Copa America winner put on 193 assists, another La Liga record.
Lionel Messi also has the joint record for most assists in a single season. He and Thomas Muller set the joint record in the 2019-20 season when both ended up with 21 assists.
8. Most goals in a single La Liga season
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner holds the record for the most goals in a single La Liga season. Messi went on a rampaging run in the 2011-12 season. He finished with 50 goals in 37 La Liga matches.
En route to scoring 50 goals in the league, Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Granada. The hat-trick helped him overtake Cesar Rodriguez as the highest scorer in the Barcelona history.
7. Most goals for a single club
In December 2020, Lionel Messi surpassed Pele’s tally of 643 goals to set the record for the most goals scored for a single club. He scored against Real Valladolid to notch his 644th goal for the club.
Lionel Messi has now ended up with 672 goals for Barcelona. Only another player with the superhuman calibre of the Argentine would now be able to break this feat.
6. Most goals scored in El Classico and Derbi Barceloni
The two most important games in the season calendar for Barcelona is the El Clasico and the Barcelona Derby. Their annual skirmishes against Real Madrid is among the most-watched games on the planet. But Barcelona also have a heated derby against city rivals Espanyol.
In these games, Messi has shown his class time and again. He is the highest scorer in the two fixtures for the 26-time La Liga winners. Messi scored 26 goals in El Classico followed by 25 goals in the ‘Derbi Barceloni’.
Among his most memorable in El Clasico are his first hat-trick in the fixture, his solo goal in the 2010-11 Champions League semifinals and his goal in the final moments of the game in the 2016/17 La Liga season. His goal was made famous with his iconic shirt celebration.
5. Most hat-tricks in La Liga
Messi holds the record for the most hat-tricks scored in La Liga. He scored 36 hat-tricks in the league averaging one every 14 games.
His first hat-trick came in 2007 in a game against rivals Real Madrid. His goals helped Barcelona draw 3-3 against the record league and European champions. Messi scored his final hat-trick against Eibar in February 2020.
4. Most appearances for FC Barcelona
On 21st March 2021, Messi played in his 768th game for the Catalan club against Real Sociedad. Messi’s 768th appearance marked the record for most appearances for Barcelona. He overtook former team-mate, Xavi Hernandez, in the list.
Messi also stands atop the list for most La Liga (520) and Copa del Rey appearances (80) for Barcelona. He marked his record-breaking appearance with a brace against the Basque club.
3. Most trophies won in club history
Messi overtook former team-mate Andres Iniesta when he lifted the Supercopa de Espana in 2018. It was his 33rd trophy with Barcelona.
He won the 2021 Copa del Rey and scored a brace in a 4-0 final win against Athletic Bilbao. He lifted the 35th and final trophy in his time with the Blaugrana. It makes him the most decorated player in the club’s history. He won 10 La Liga titles (the most by a non-Spanish player), four UEFA Champions League titles, seven Copas del Rey and Supercopas de Espana respectively.
Messi’s tally of 35 trophies also made him the most decorated player with a single team. He usurped Ryan Giggs’ tally of 34 trophies for Manchester United.
2. Most goals in a season (in official European competitions)
Messi’s 2011-12 has to go down as the best season ever for a player in European football. The Argentine scored goals for fun and made a mockery of opposition defences.
His figures for the season were staggering, 50 goals in the league, 14 in the UEFA Champions League, three in the Copa del Rey and six in other competitions. He finished with a ridiculous 73 goals in 60 games in all competitions. He broke the record for the most goals in a single season in European football. Messi overtook Gerd Muller’s tally of 67 in the 1972-73 season.
1. Most goals in a calendar year
Messi’s stupendous 2011-12 season carried on into the year 2012 where the Flea sent goalscoring records tumbling. Along with breaking the record for most goals in a single season, Messi also broke the record for the most number of goals scored in a single calendar year. His tally in 2012 finished at a frankly absurd 91 goals. Messi received an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for his superhuman feat.
It is a record that is probably never going to be surpassed, much like so many others that the Argentine set during a glorious two-decade stint at Barcelona.