Messi’s top 10 iconic Barcelona moments

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August 7, 2021
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    It looks as if Lionel Messi's time at Barcelona has come to an end.

    The Argentina captain is Barcelona's record scorer with 672 goals and has won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and the Copa del Rey seven times, as well as claiming the Ballon d'Or on a record six occasions.

    But he is now a free agent after Barcelona said they could not afford to give him a new deal under La Liga's financial fair play rules.

    What are any potential new team – perhaps Paris St-Germain – going to get? Here are 10 of his iconic Barcelona moments.

    Messi's first hat-trick

    Lionel Messi celebrates goal against Real Madrid in 2007

    Barcelona 3-3 Real Madrid, 10 March 2007

    Messi's first career hat-trick came in one of the biggest fixtures in football. The teenager scored all of Barca's three goals in a 2007 Clasico – his first at the Nou Camp – including a brilliant last-minute finish after beating a couple of defenders.

    This was arguably the moment he became a household name.

    Messi's greatest goal?

    Lionel Messi scores against Getafe

    Barcelona 5-2 Getafe, 18 April 2007

    Messi's goal in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg 14 years ago remains arguably his greatest strike.

    In a goal with remarkable similarities to Diego Maradona's (non-handball) goal for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup, Messi picked the ball up in his own half, beat about five defenders, went round the goalkeeper and then slotted home.

    Messi's first Champions League final goal

    Lionel Messi scores against Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final

    Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United, 27 May 2009

    If you can believe it, there was a time when people questioned whether Messi could do it against English clubs in Europe. He had failed to score in 10 Champions League appearances against English sides before the 2009 final.

    But there were no doubts any more when Messi rose highest in the box to head home Xavi's cross in his first Champions League final – and the first game billed as Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Two years later, he would score in another final win over United – the third of his four Champions League winners' medals.

    Messi hits four past Arsenal

    Lionel Messi scores his fourth goal against Arsenal

    Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal, 6 April 2010

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    Messi scored four goals for the first time in his career as he took Arsenal to the cleaners in the 2010 Champions League quarter-final. The pick of the bunch was his chip over Manuel Almunia for his hat-trick.

    An honourable mention goes to his five-goal haul against Bayer Leverkusen in a 7-1 win in the last 16 two years later.

    He is the second top scorer in Champions League history with 120, behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Messi breaks Barcelona scoring record

    Barcelona 5-3 Granada, 20 March 2012

    Messi broke Barcelona's goalscoring record at the age of 24 – in style, with a hat-trick.

    He equalled Cesar Rodriguez's record of 232 goals with his first against Granada, broke it with his second and extended the record with the third.

    Messi scores 91 goals in a year

    Lionel Messi and Xavi

    Real Valladolid 1-3 Barcelona, 22 December 2012

    Even by the remarkable goalscoring exploits of Messi and Ronaldo, the Argentine's record-breaking 2012 still seems implausible – 91 goals in the calendar year.

    He netted 79 goals for Barcelona and 12 for Argentina – in a total of 69 games for club and country.

    It was enough to earn Messi an unprecedented fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or – even though he only won the Copa del Rey in 2012 for all those goals.

    Messi breaks La Liga scoring record

    Lionel Messi is given bumps after breaking Barcelona's goalscoring record

    Barcelona 5-1 Sevilla, 22 November 2014

    Another goalscoring record broken – and another hat-trick to do it.

    Messi equalled Telmo Zarra's 251-goal record with a free-kick, before breaking it and stretching it with a third.

    Messi is now on 474 La Liga goals, more than 200 clear of the old record, and more than 150 above Ronaldo – who was on 311 before he left Real Madrid for Juventus.

    Messi's 500th Barcelona goal comes in El Clasico

    Lionel Messi celebrates goal against Real Madrid in 2017

    Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona – 23 April 2017

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    Sometimes a goal almost seems too perfect – and this was one of those. Messi popped up with an injury-time goal against Real in 2017, sweeping home a first-time shot from the edge of the area. It was an El Clasico winner, his 500th Barcelona goal and it sent them top of the table – although Real would go on to win the league.

    For good measure, he pulled out an iconic celebration when he took off his shirt and held it out so the Bernabeu faithful could see his name.

    Messi wins sixth Ballon d'Or

    Lionel Messi

    Paris, 2 December 2019

    Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or – a record – in December 2019, taking him above Ronaldo's total of five – after scoring 54 times for club and country in 2018-19.

    It was remarkably only his second since 2012 – with the other coming in 2015.

    "I still have beautiful years ahead of me," he said while collecting the award.

    That is still the most recent Ballon d'Or award because of Covid.

    Messi breaks Pele scoring record

    Lionel Messi

    Real Valladolid 0-3 Barcelona, 22 December 2020

    Messi still had time to fit in 38 more Barcelona goals after initially trying to leave the club last summer – and one more big record.

    He scored his 644th goal for Barcelona during a win over Real Valladolid just before Christmas to break Pele's record of the most goals for one club – 643 for Santos.

    He has since extended that record to 672.

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