It’s one of those statistics where the more you try to wrap your head around it, the more mind-boggling it becomes.
Lionel Messi has scored 4.39 percent of the goals in the 117 year old history of FC Barcelona. The club which was founded in 1899 has had a rich history and is the most successful club in Europe in terms of total trophies won. Almost one in every 20 was struck by the legendary Argentinean.
As typical as any other day, Messi bagged a brace against newcomers Sporting Gijon thereby passing the 300 mark in La Liga, the first player to do so. It was also the 10000th goal in Barcelona history.
It’s not his first milestone and neither will it be his last. The club’s 9000th goal was also scored the diminutive forward against Almeria in 2010.
He has been the player during the most successful period in the history of the club. With 28 trophies, he is among the most successful club players in history. So, the 9000th and the 10000th goals were waiting to be scored by him and he is in excellent company, given Diego Maradona scored the 6000th in 1983 and Michael Laudrup scored the 7000th in 1993 too.
Messi took his tally to 301 on Wednesday and they were two typical goals from the world’s greatest footballer, just when we thought we have seen it all.
Thirty yards from goal, Messi pretended he was about to thread a through ball to Luis Suarez, who made a run behind the Gijon defence. Instead, he took a touch to the side, leaving two men on the back foot, and found the bottom left corner for the goal number 300.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique admitted afterwards it is a privilege to have Messi in the team and to be able to watch him too. Breaking down his 301 goals in La Liga and he’s scored 240 with the left foot, 48 with the right foot, 12 with the head and another which is believed to be his Diego Maradonaesque Hand of God goal against Espanyol in June 2007.
Messi has 172 goals at the Nou Camp and 129 away from home. Dani Alves has assisted him the most and his favourite opponent is Atlético Madrid against whom he has scored 21 times.
There has been a lot of talk this week about whether the Messi’s two-person penalty with Luis Suárez against Celta Vigo was disrespectful, as if he did it to embarrass the opposition. and not to entertain.
Yet despite being accused of arrogance, Messi was willing to sacrifice his 300th goal to allow a team-mate to score instead thereby showing his unselfishness.
On Wednesday night, he got to his record anyway- as if it were ever in doubt- and is continuing to score at a downright silly rate in Spain.
A player like him comes once in a generation. He is not to be criticized for petty reasons. We need to respect and enjoy all the magical displays he puts in for us. Let us celebrate Messi’s genius as long as we are fortunate enough to see.
Read more on Messi