Lionel Messi breaches the 700-goal mark, but who are the six ahead of him?
Did you like Lionel Messi’s panenka in the 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid in the La Liga earlier this week? The goal did not just give Barcelona the lead (temporarily), it was the wizard’s 700th goal in a stellar career that has seen him win everything at the club level.
Messi’s 699 goals prior to this game had come across all competitions in his 16-year career as a senior player with club and country. He now has 630 in 724 games for FC Barcelona and 70 in 138 caps for the Argentina international team.
Messi’s for goal for his boyhood club came in LaLiga against Albacete on 1 May 2005. He has scored 441 goals in 480 LaLiga games in LaLiga, 114 in 141 Champions League appearances, 53 in his 75 Copa del Rey outings, three in four European Super Cup finals, five in five appearances at the Club World Cup and 14 in 19 games in the Spanish Super Cup.
Deemed as the best player in the history of the game by many, the Argentine captain scored his first international goal in a friendly against Croatia in March 2006, while his latest strike came in his most recent international game against Uruguay in November 2019.
The No. 10 has won 10 LaLiga titles, four Champions Leagues and six career Ballon d’Ors for his club apart from several other trophies. He has scored has scored three or more goals in 54 different games to date for either club or country. In a Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen in 2011-12, he scored five times!
His 91 goals in calendar year 2012 is another unique personal record.
In October 2014, Messi had become LaLiga’s all-time top goalscorer, eclipsing the previous record of 251 help by legendary striker Telmo Zarra, who played for Athletic Club between 1940 and 1955.
Now let’s take a look at the players ahead of Messi on the all-time scorers’ list.
Czech-Austrian striker Josef Bican has been credited with 805 goals between 1930s – 1950s. Following him is Brazilian great Romario, who claims 772 goals, conveniently pushing his figure just ahead of ‘Black Pearl’ Pele’s 767 goals. The latter is regarded by many as the greatest Brazilian footballer of all time.
Ex-Real Madrid forward and Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas retired in 1966 with 746 goals to his name, while Germany’s Gerd ‘Der Bomber’ Muller reached 735 by the time he hung up his boots in 1981. Currently, Cristiano Ronaldo leads Messi on the list with 728 goals (in 1005 senior career games, including 99 goals in 164 international caps with Portugal).
Messi and his Portuguese rival are expected to go head-to-head in the fight for this crown as well, like several others. For now, fans can only watch them and enjoy greatness week in, week out.
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