A whole life at Barça. That's how Leo Messi's crushing numbers for the Catalan club can be summed up after he made his 750th appearance against Huesca at the weekend.
In La Liga, his numbers are also well rounded, with his 500th appearance in Spain's top-flight coming in the same game. Only Barça legend Xavi Hernandez can better him with 505 games in the league and 767 in a Blaugrana shirt.
In a matter of weeks, Messi will take both those records from Xavi. At the start of February, save injury or any setbacks, Messi will play his 505th game in the league, levelling Xavi.
"It's an honour to have reached this number of games in the Barça shirt," the Argentine forward told SPORT on Monday.
From Rosario to Barcelona
It's difficult to imagine more than 20 years ago, when Messi arrived in Barcelona with his dad, that that kid of 13 years of age would become the biggest icon in Barça's history.
Now into 2021, Messi's numbers are unreachable: 750 games, with 524 wins, 138 draws and 88 losses. He has scored 644 goals for Barça.
Messi's 500 games in La Liga have come at Camp Nou (252) and on the road (248) and he has won 369 of those games, scoring 451 goals.
The rival he's played most against is Atletico Madrid (29 games, 18 wins and 26 goals), followed by Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia (28 games). In total, he's faced 40 teams in La Liga.
Prior to matching Xavi's appearance record, Messi is already the Barça player to win the most games in La Liga (369), score the most goals (451), start the most games (445) and win the most titles (10). He made his debut on Oct. 16, 2004, at Montjuic, coming for Deco against Espanyol. He was 17.
In Huesca, now 33 and somewhere he had never played before, he took another historic step forward, with 750 Barça games and 500 in La Liga.
After his worst summer as a Barça player in 2020 -- he was about to leave the club -- there is now expectation around Messi. His future could depend on who wins the elections and becomes the next club president on Jan. 24. He is out of contract in June and his future remains in the air.
Source: Sport / David Giraldo - David Salinas