Lionel Messi Sets New Barca Goal-Scoring Record

Lionel Messi, Barcelona FC

Lionel Messi Breaks Barcelona’s Goal Scoring Record

Messi, the World Player of the Year who is in his eighth season with Barca, broke Barcelona’s 60-year-old goal-scoring record with a hat-trick in a 5-3 win over La Liga rivals Granada at the Nou Camp on Tuesday – just 4 minutes from time. Barcelona’s win over Granada moves the Catalan side to within five points of league leaders Real Madrid, who they face at the Nou Camp on 22 April.

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Messi, 24, equalled the previous record with a volley off a post in the 17th minute and then broke it with a lob in the 68th minute. The Argentine’s third was his 234th goal for Barca. Messi has scored 54 goals in all competitions in the 2011-12 season.

Messi is also the top-scorer in La Liga in the 2011-12 campaign - with 34 goals from 27 games, two ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Athletico Madrid’s Falcao is third with 17 goals.

“We have to congratulate Messi, he has scored so many goals and is only 24, he does not just score ordinary goals but great goals and we hope he gets lots more for us, we can compare him perhaps the Michael Jordan [American basketball legend] of football,” said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

“There are no players capable of dominating a sport with such superiority. In every sport there has existed only one player that can be considered as somebody unique. And this is the case. Yes, Messi can be compared to Michael Jordan.”

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdez said of his team-mate: “Messi is defining an era. He is the best.”

Ernest Macia, of public Radio Catalunya, said it was a “historic evening” in Barcelona.

“Messi is exceptional, there will not be another player like him,” said Macia. “In Barcelona, people are used to successes of the team and of Messi but tonight, with the sight of history, many people will remember the night.

“I’ve heard many cars now on the streets celebrating that Messi has done it.”

Cesar Rodriguez, who played for Barcelona in the 1940s and 1950s, held the previous record of 235 goals. Rodriguez won five La Liga championships in 13 years with Barca. He was the league’s highest scorer in 1948-49 (28 in 24 games) and topped Barca’s goal charts for seven consecutive seasons.

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