Barcelona stalwart Lionel Messi has reached the milestone of scoring 700 goals in his senior career for club and country after he netted once in Barcelona’s 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid in La Liga on Tuesday at the Camp Nou.
Messi, who scored from the penalty spot, has scored 630 times for Barcelona in 724 appearances, across all club competitions, and another 70 in Argentina shirt in 138 matches. The goal tally, meanwhile, can go up to 735 if the friendly matches he has played for Barcelona are taken into account.
“His first goal came on 1 May 2005 at the Camp Nou against Albacete, coming off a fine assist from Ronaldinho. And from there, the story just hasn’t stopped, with goals coming on all shapes and sizes. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them,” the official website of Barcelona said in an ode to Messi’s achievement.
2012 has remained the Argentine veteran’s greatest season in his career so far when he had scored a total of 91 goals, beating the previous record of Brazilian legend Pele’s 75.
“Messi is infinitely ambitious and still has further targets to aim for. He needs just 13 to beat Pele’s record number of goals for a single team. And with 724 appearances to his name he doesn’t have too long to go before he tops the 767 of Xavi Hernandez,” the club further said.
The 33-year-old has a contract until 2021 at Camp Nou. A clause that would have allowed Messi to leave for free this summer recently expired, ensuring that he remains at the club for another 12 months.
Meanwhile, Messi’s strike on Tuesday was not enough as Barcelona suffered another blow in their title hopes and were held to a 2-2 draw by Atletico Madrid. With 70 points from 33 matches, the Quique Setien-managed team failed to topple Real Madrid who are sitting at the top with 71 points from 32 matches.