Can enough ever be said about arguably the greatest player in the history of football? It seems not as BBC Sport takes the liberty to venture down the corridor of some of the Barcelona and Argentina forward’s most iconic moments.
With 627 goals and 34 trophies for the Catalans as well as six Ballons d’Or awards, the British media giant will air ‘Messi Day’ on Saturday across its various platforms, affording viewers, followers and admirers of the star a front-row seat to some of his best World Cup goals, among a myriad of others.
Barcelona 3-3 Real Madrid – March 10, 2007
Messi’s first career hat-trick came in one of the biggest fixtures in football. The then-teenager scored all of three goals for the Blaugrana in a 2007 Clasico – his first at the Nou Camp – including a brilliant last-minute finish after beating a couple of defenders.
Hits four past Arsenal
Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal – April 6, 2010
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 lot was his chip over Manuel Almunia to seal his hat-trick.
Scores 91 goals in a year
Real Valladolid 1-3 Barcelona – December 22, 2012
Even by the remarkable goalscoring exploits of Messi and Ronaldo, the Argentine’s record-breaking 2012 still seems implausible as he bagged 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.
500th Barcelona goal comes in El Clasico
Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona – April 23, 2017
Messi popped up with an injury-time goal against Real in 2017, sweeping home a first-time shot from the edge of the area to bag an unthinkable goal. It was an El Clasico winner, his 500th Barcelona goal and it sent Barca top of the table (although Real would go on to win the league). The events on that day could not have been scripted.
First Champions League final goal
Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United – May 27, 2009
After failing to score in 10 Champions League appearances against English sides before the final in ’09, 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, while the latter still donned a Reds shirt.
Captures sixth Ballon d’Or
Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet, 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony – December 2, 2019
Messi lifted a record-sixth Ballon d’Or title nearly six months ago, taking him above Ronaldo after he netted 54 times for club and country through 2018/19. After being crowned Messi said: “I still have beautiful years ahead of me.”
In truth, there are just too many iconic Messi moments to list. But how many more such can the Argentine great add before his eventual retirement from the sport he inspired so many to fall in love with? Add your comment below.