Unrаveling Meѕѕi’ѕ Unmаtched Legаcy: From World Cuр Trіumph to Record-breaking Feаts

 

Messi guided Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December before ending his 20-year career in European football with Barcelona to join Major League Soccer franchise Inter Miami in America in July.

As he continues to shine – for club and country – we look at some of the milestones and records Messi has set over the years.

Most Ballon d’Or awards – 8

It was no surprise when Messi was announced as the men’s Ballon d’Or winner, the award for the best footballer in the world for the 2022-23 season.

His inspirational role in helping Argentina win the World Cup for the first time since 1986 almost guaranteed he would extend his record of award wins to eight – despite the best efforts of prolific Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

Cristiano Ronaldo, now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia, is Messi’s closest rival with five, but, aged 38 and not even nominated in the 30-man shortlist, it is hard to see the Portugal forward challenging Messi’s haul.

Such is Messi and Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or domination, the only other two previous winners still playing are Croatia’s Luka Modric and France’s Karim Benzema. With both well into their 30s, they do not stand a chance of getting near the record.

Haaland, Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham, Real and Brazil forward Vinicius Jr and even Bayern Munich and England striker Harry Kane will fancy their chances of being in the mix in future, but it will be a long time before anyone gets near Messi.

Most goals in a La Liga season – 50

It is impossible to say when this impressive scoring feat will be broken, but history suggests it might be some time.

Messi’s 50 goals in 37 appearances for Barcelona in 2011-12 is not only a La Liga record, but it is also the most in a season by any player in one of Europe’s top five leagues since the formation of the Premier League in 1992-93.

Since La Liga’s formation in 1929, only three players have even hit 40 goals. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo managed it twice and Luis Suarez did so seven years ago – the last time the mark was reached.

Most goals in all competitions in a season – 73

This tally seems insurmountable.

In that record-breaking 2011-12 season Messi scored 73 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and no-one has got close since.

Haaland broke all sorts of records in his debut Premier League campaign last season, but, despite seemingly scoring every week, he finished the season with 52 goals – 21 short of Messi’s phenomenal effort.

Even Everton great Dixie Dean is 10 short, hitting an amazing 63 goals in 1927-28 – an English top-flight record that has stood for 95 years.

Most Champions League goals for one club – 120

Messi looks like falling short of the record as Champions League top scorer. He is in second – 11 goals short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 140 – with both probably having played their last game in the competition.

But Messi’s 120 goals for Barcelona is the most a player has scored for one club in the competition.

Ronaldo’s 105 for Real Madrid is the next highest, with Karim Benzema’s 78 for Real a distant third.

With players remaining loyal to one club fairly rare in the modern game, it is difficult to see who could match Messi’s feat any time soon.

Most goals for Argentina – 106

Messi is Argentina’s record scorer by a country mile – and he is still going.

In an international career that started in 2005, he has scored 48 more goals than previous record holder Gabriel Batistuta and 63 more than third-placed Sergio Aguero.

With Messi still adding to his tally and his two closest rivals retired, it is going to be a long time – if ever – before anyone gets close to his Argentina record.

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