The 34-year-old joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer and has signed a two-year contract with the club.

Lionel Messi is no longer a FC Barcelona player. After 21 years of an extraordinary journey with the Blaugrana, Messi has left the club as a free agent and has joined PSG. His departure has created a huge void for Barcelona. With a mammoth 672 goals and 305 assists in 778 appearances, Lionel Messi has left behind a huge legacy.

Messi joined the club as a 13-year-old and achieved unfathomable heights. Since making his debut for the senior team, the diminutive Argentine developed into a talisman at Camp Nou. He leaves as the club’s highest appearances maker, highest goalscorer and leading assist maker. Messi is also the all-time highest goalscorer in La Liga history.

During his 21-year spell at the club, Lionel Messi achieved multiple laurels and had many memorable moments that will forever be etched in history. Here, Khel Now takes a look at the top five most memorable moments of Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona.

5. Goal against Getafe

Lionel Messi had already shown what he is capable of when he became the youngest ever Barcelona debutant. He immediately became a regular in the team and left everyone amazed by his skills. Then came Getafe and Lionel Messi announced himself to the world.

Barcelona were playing Getafe in the Copa del Rey during the 2006-07 season. Messi decided to single-handedly demolish the opponents as he took the ball from the midfield and went past the entire Getafe midfield and defence with ease before putting the ball in the back of the net. That goal was him announcing himself to the world and the beginning of a great journey.

4. The first-ever hat-trick

Scoring a hat-trick is the acute point of a player’s career. Messi has 54 career hat-tricks to his name, which is only overshadowed by his arch-rival, Cristiano Ronaldo (57). While players have struggled to score a single career hat-trick, these two have been doing it frequently for a long time.

The first hat-trick in a player’s career is always the most memorable. But, imagine grabbing your first against your fierce rivals. The same season that he scored that outrageous solo goal, Lionel Messi scored his first career hat-trick in an El Clasico against Real Madrid.

3. Five goals in a game

Out of the 672 goals scored by the maestro, 120 of them have come in the Champions League. With Messi in the side, Barcelona won four Champions League titles. Before Messi, the Blaugrana side had won just one UCL title.

In 2011, Barcelona were almost unbeatable and went on to win everything except the Copa del Rey. The same year, Messi created yet another record. He scored five goals against Bayer Leverkusen in a 7-1 riot. By doing so, he became the only player in the competition’s history to achieve this feat, which remains untouched to date.

2. 91 goals in a single season!

Lionel Messi produced one of the most memorable season in FC Barcelona colours when he scored 91 goals in a single calendar year in 2012. This record was previously held by Gerd Muller, who had scored 85 goals in 1972. His 91 goals in 69 games meant that he was scoring 1.319 goals per match.

1. Winning sixth Ballon d’Or trophy

Before Ronaldo and Messi became rivals, the most times a player had won this individual award was Johann Cruyff and Michel Platini with three each. Once the Portuguese won it in 2008, these two have shared 11 Ballon d’Or’s between them. Their long reign was only broken by Luca Modric in 2018, after which Messi created history. He became the first player to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or n for the sixth time.

From the team’s perspective, there was a commotion when Lionel Messi won the award as FC Barcelona had only won the La Liga. But, his performance showed why he deserved it. He was the top-scorer in Spain as well as Europe and he had another year with the goal tally crossing the 50 marks. Along with that, he also surpassed the 600-goal mark with FC Barcelona.

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