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Messi’s 300th and Barca’s 10,000th La Liga goal!
Magical Lionel Messi became the first ever player to reach 300 La Liga goals when he scored against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday.
The Argentine sensation bagged a brace in the 3-1 midweek win and his 301st goal – coming just seven minutes after his opener – was Barcelona’s historic 10,000th La Liga goal. It’s yet another amazing feat and twist of fate with echoes from five years ago when Messi hit Barca’s 9,000th in 2010.
For many he is simply the greatest ever and the astonishing striker is firmly on course to surpass Gerd Muller’s near 40-year-old record to become the deadliest hit man ever to play in Europe.
Messi’s double strike against Gijon took the mercurial Number 10 to 301 La Liga goals for Barcelona with the momentous milestone reached in just 334 league games – a strike rate that equates to 0.90 goals every game.
Muller won four league titles with Bayern Munich legend and scored 365 times for the Bavarian’s in the Bundesliga between 1965 and 1979 – but 28-year-old Messi looks to have more than enough years left to eclipse the German.
If he can keep up his goal scoring rate Messi will need just 72 more games to equal Muller’s achievement meaning the 2017-18 season should see him become the all-time leading scorer in the history of Europe’s top leagues.
4.39% OF ALL BARCA GOALS – EVER!
The incredible record means that Messi alone is responsible for 4.39% of ALL of Barcelona’s goals scored since the club was founded in 1899.
Such stats will send shivers down the spine of defenders and Barca’s main rivals – as well as punters and online football tipsters – know he is yet to enter what appears to be his favourite goal scoring month given he’s scored 44 of his 301 in that month.
Passing the most recent milestone of a record breaking career moves Messi into very, very elite company as he is one of just five players to break 300 goals in a single European ‘top five’ league.
No player has managed the feat in France or Italy while three Englishmen – led by Jimmy Greaves – along with Muller make up the quintet.
ANOTHER FIRST FOR MESSI
The record breaking exploits come shortly after Messi managed another first when he was named La Liga player of the month for the first time.
The award has only been in existence since the start of the 2013-14 season but that means Messi was eligible 23 times before finally being crowned after his exploits in January with six goals in six games – including a hat-trick against Granada.
In 2012-13 he claimed another world record with an unbelievable run that saw him score in 21 consecutive La Liga games, helping himself to 33 goals in the process.
His 301 La Liga goal haul includes 25 hat-tricks – two of which have lit up Clasicos against Real Madrid.
Further analysis of his record may give some optimism for opponents with only 12 of the goals coming from headers. But as always, the question they will have to answer is how do you stop the 170cm tall phenomenon getting the ball at his feet?
By: Joe Cahal