Against Valencia on Sunday, Lionel Messi scored in Barca’s 2- defeat to end one of the worst scoring droughts of his career. The goal was Messi’s 500th in all competitions, 50 for Argentina and 450 for Barcelona in what has been a remarkable career.
What is really amazing is that when you look at the competitions that Messi has scored in, he is the all-time leader in goals in almost all of them. And he is still only 28-years-old. If he stays healthy and productive for another five years, Messi could set records that will never be broken!
- 83: UEFA Champions League
- 3: UEFA Super Cup
- 5: FIFA Club World Cup
- 309: Liga
- 39: Spanish Cup
- 11: Spanish Super Cup
- 50: Argentina (23 competitive, 27 friendly)
- Total: 500 goals
Goals From Competitions
83: Champions League
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s race to become the all-time top scorer in the world’s top club competition is one of the great footballing dramas of the modern age. With 93 goals (94 if you include qualifying), Ronaldo leads the way, with Messi ranked second (ahead of Real Madrid great Raúl González, who scored 71). What Ronaldo and Messi have done in the Champions League is amazing as a few years ago it was unthinkable to believe that someone could hit 100 goals in the competition. A total that both players will blow by,
3: UEFA Super Cup
Messi is currently the joint-leading scorer in Super Cup games, sharing his place at the head of that leaderboard with Oleh Blokhin, Radamel Falcao, Arie Haan, Terry McDermott, Gerd Müller, François Van der Elst and Rob Rensenbrink. Moreover, having netted twice for Ajax in the pre-UEFA 1972 edition of the competition, Haan has a case for putting his tally at five, meaning Messi needs three more goals in the traditional European season-opener to definitively claim the title of top Super Cup scorer.
5: FIFA Club World Cup
Messi is one of three players to have scored five times in the competition that pits together the winners of the various confederations’ UEFA Champions League-equivalent tournaments. Also on five are his compatriot César Delgado (who scored five for Mexican side Monterrey) and current Camp Nou team-mate Luis Suárez, who registered all five of his goals in the 2015 event.
Messi is the Spanish top flight’s all-time top scorer, having surpassed Telmo Zarra’s mark of 251 in November 2014. However, while he has since piled on the goals, so too has Ronaldo, who recently moved above Zarra and into second in the rankings with 256 goals. Fans of the Madrid man also like to point out that he has netted more consistently than Messi throughout his Liga career – at a rate of over a goal a game.
39: Spanish Cup
Former Athletic Club centre-forward Zarra did not live to see Messi break his all-time Liga scoring record – yet it seems extremely unlikely that Messi will wrest away the Bilbao great’s Copa del Rey benchmark of 81 goals. Messi’s haul of 39 leaves him 15th in the all-time list, with Ronaldo down in 37th with 21.
11: Spanish Super Cup
For the moment, this record looks secure. Messi’s 11 is already the mark to chase in the Spanish season curtain-raiser, and with the retired Raúl second in the rankings on seven goals, no one is close to taking it away from the Barcelona talisman.
50: Argentina (23 competitive, 27 friendly)
With 56 goals, the ex-Fiorentina, Roma and Inter Milan striker Gabriel Batistuta is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer, but Messi is hunting him down and needs just seven more to trump ‘Batigol’.
500: Career total
While it is a huge number, 500 senior goals is by no means a unique figure. Ronaldo – now on 478 for his club and 56 for his country, 534 in total – passed the 500-mark last October. The top scorer of all time is generally accepted to be Czech-Austrian legend Josef Bican, whose final haul, albeit including reserve fixtures and games outside the top flight, is around 805. Romário and Pelé both ended their careers with tallies well into the 700s.
If Messi plays another 5 seasons, until he is 33, then Romário and Pelé’s records are well within reach. Bican’s record might take more than five years to reach, but if Messi gets close to it, would he play an extra season to surpass it?