Happy Birthday Lionel Messi: A look at his amazing stats
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi stands among the greatest players in the history of football. The Little Magician is known for miraculously dribbling past players on the football pitch. His propensity to maintain an uncanny accuracy while shooting the ball, makes him a cut above the rest. As Messi celebrates his 33rd birthday today, we take a look at some of his amazing stats.
440 La Liga goals for Messi
Messi has been ruling La Liga ever since he made his debut for Barcelona in 2004-05. He has scored a record 440 goals from 478 games in the league thus far. His ground-breaking feat makes him stand atop in the list of goal-scorers in the league. Notably, he has a lead of a staggering 129 goals from the second-ranked Cristiano Ronaldo (311).
Most number of hat-tricks in La Liga
Messi has scored the most number of hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and is followed by former Real ace Cristiano Ronaldo (34). Luis Suarez holds the third spot in the list with 10 hat-tricks. No other active La Liga player has clinched 10+ hat-tricks.
Most goals in a single La Liga season
In the 2011-12 La Liga season, Messi netted as many as 50 goals, an all-time record in the league's history. He also holds the record for the most home goals in a season (35). Notably, the Argentine has won most La Liga titles among the non-Spanish players (10). He has made the most number of La Liga appearances by a foreign player (478).
Messi has scored 114 goals in Champions League
Messi has scored 114 goals for Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. He is the leading goal-scorer for a single club in the competition. His counterpart Ronaldo has the next best tally with 105 goals (for Real Madrid). The latter tops the list, having scored 128 goals overall. However, Messi's record for a single club is unlikely to be broken in the upcoming years.
Messi made a terrific return to La Liga
Nearly 16 years after announcing his arrival, Messi is still going strong. Recently, he made a La Liga return in style after having scored a goal and grabbed two assists against Real Mallorca. He became the only player to score 20 or more goals in 12 consecutive La Liga seasons. As has been the case, Messi leads the goals tally this season (21).