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The 13 records set by Lionel Messi at Barcelona that will never be broken

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There aren’t enough superlatives in the galaxy to do Lionel Messi the justice he deserves for his unworldly footballing exploits.

And while his first season at Paris Saint-Germain has proven that he is in fact human, Messi is still more than capable of suspending your disbelief, despite his advancing age.

He might not be making our jaws drop week after week anymore, and that’s absolutely okay. But that’s not to say he isn’t still capable of making the magic happen when he’s feeling up for it.

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And with a first year in Paris that was always going to prove difficult now out of the way, you’d back the Argentine to bounce back and kick on to superhuman levels again next season.

Having said that, Messi could hang up the boots tomorrow and his status as a footballing freak of nature would forever be etched into the game, with such a tremendous legacy left behind and living on through the records he has set throughout the years.

Those records are absolutely astonishing. Most of them being set while dazzling spectators for Barcelona from 2004 to 2021, some were also set while doing the very same thing for the Argentina national team.

There is never a wrong time to gawk over Messi’s accolades, thus we at GIVEMESPORT have deemed it as good a time as ever to look back at 11 of the records currently set by him that are so good, they are unlikely to ever be broken again.

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13. Most Champions League hat-tricks – 8

Admittedly this is one of very few records that feel slightly beatable, Messi currently has the most Champions League hat-tricks, but is closely followed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s seven.

However, with Ronaldo looking set to not play Champions League football by sticking with Manchester United, there is a genuine possibility he might not get another chance to take that record, leaving it up to either Robert Lewandowski or Karim Benzema in third and fourth respectively.

12. Most Champions League group stage goals – 76

In similar vein to the hat-tricks scenario, Messi’s 76 goals could be beaten considering Ronaldo places second with 73, but with the scary possibility that he might not play in the competition again, it stands strong for now.

Benzema and Lewandowski take joint third with 56, meaning one of them would have to find 21 goals before they hang up their boots. Unlikely.

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11. Most Argentina caps – 160 and counting

Surpassing Javier Mascherano as Argentina’s most capped player in 2021, Messi now sits on 160 caps at the time of writing, which is incredible longevity for somebody who has been breaking defenders’ ankles for years at this point.

What’s even scarier is that he still hasn’t retired from international football even after carrying the national team to the 2021 Copa America.

10. Most European Golden Shoes – 6

Awarded to the leading goal scorer across Europe’s top divisions, Messi of course has a trophy cabinet full of European Golden Shoes, as if he’s got a collection going on.

All six of them were won at Barcelona, the last three of which were all won back to back from 2016 to 2019. Freakish firing rates.

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9. Most club honours – 36

Nobody can ever accuse Messi of being a stat-padding merchant or whatever it is the kids say these days, because he’s always made sure his contributions are the type that are dragging his teams to trophies.

Clinching Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain in 2021/22 added to an obscene silverware haul that took place during his unforgettable spell at Barcelona.

8. Most goals for one singular club – 672

Leaving Barcelona was always going to be emotional, but leaving under the circumstances he did made matters a lot worse. Messi’s spell in Catalonia was perhaps the best spell from a player at a club ever.

You can’t disagree really, either. As Scott Steiner would say, the numbers don’t lie. If the trophy cabinet isn’t enough, look at the goals. 672 of them. Nobody is coming close to that for one club ever again.

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7. Most La Liga hat-tricks – 36

For many players – even strikers – scoring one or two career hat-tricks is a luxury that one won’t ever forget. Messi can’t even remember half of the hat-tricks he’s scored, for some perspective.

Seriously, 36 times he’s put at least three goals past one team in La Liga. That’s ridiculous. If he didn’t have to move on, there’s no doubt in our minds he could’ve reached 40 for Barça.

6. Most El Clasico goals – 26

Staying in Spain, Messi holds the record for the most goals scored in what was, in its peak, possibly the greatest game of pure football on earth. Two titans going at it, Barcelona vs Real Madrid isn’t for the faint-hearted.

His greatest rival Ronaldo couldn’t get all that close to him on this one, either, scoring 18 times in El Clasico fixtures. The Argentine loves the big occasions.

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5. Most goals in a calendar year – 91

Nine goals away from scoring 100 goals within a 365 day period. That is truly unfathomable numbers.

Producing the mesmerising feat in 2012, nobody has come close to Messi’s 91 goal year since. Still sitting in second place is Gerd Muller, who scored 85 goals in 1972. If that doesn’t tell you just how freakish a scoring run that was from Messi, nothing will.

4. Most La Liga goals – 474

To put this one into context, Alan Shearer leads the way for Premier League goals scored with 260. Messi has almost double that over in La Liga.

And no, quality of league is not at play here. 474 goals is frankly a ridiculous firing rate no matter where you score them.

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3. Most goals in a La Liga season – 50

In an era where Messi and Ronaldo were doing their unworldly best to one up each other in La Liga, the levels went through the roof.

Ronaldo ran him close when he scored 48 goals in 2014/15, but even that firing rate wasn’t enough to eclipse Messi’s 50 league goals in 2011/12. If he can’t do it, nobody can.

2. Most La Liga assists – 192

Playing in a team with some of the greatest midfielders ever in Xavi and Andres Iniesta, Messi of course outshone Barcelona’s chief creators while also outscoring everyone in his path.

Xavi retired with 129 La Liga assists, which is still a considerable way off Messi’s 192, giving you all the context you need to realise how nauseatingly high that number is.

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1. Most Ballon d’Or wins – 7

With Messi and Ronaldo both finally showing their human side and declining, their era of dominating the Ballon d’Or awards has seemingly drawn to a close.

In that time, Ronaldo managed to steal five away from Messi, which is a serious testament to his own abilities.

Winning five Ballon d’Or’s in Messi’s era is one hell of an accomplishment. Messi’s seven will never be topped. The man found levels that nobody will reach again.

 

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EPL: I’ll be surprised if he starts matches at Manchester United – Rio Ferdinand on Eriksen

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Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand, has said that Christian Eriksen will force his way into the squad but will not play ahead of Bruno Fernandes.

Eriksen, whose contract with Brentford has just ended, has reportedly verbally agreed to move to Old Trafford and will be signing a three-year contract at the club.

Erik ten Hag is eager to fix Eriksen into Man United midfield with the departure of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, and Jesse Lingard this summer.

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Ferdinand believes the former Tottenham and Inter Milan star will be a welcome addition to the squad.

However, the former England defender questions whether the Denmark international will get into the team ahead of Bruno Fernandes since the two occupy the same role on the pitch.

“I think Christian Eriksen is a squad player. He doesn’t come as a starter, I would be very surprised if he comes into Manchester United as a starter,” Ferdinand told Five.

“I think he’ll come in and play a particular role in and around it.

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“The position he is likely to occupy will be similar to Bruno Fernandes and I don’t see him taking him out of the team.”

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EPL: Real reason Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t returned to Man Utd training Revealed

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Former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, has explained why Cristiano Ronaldo has not returned for pre-season training with the club.

Speaking on his FIVE YouTube Channel, Ferdinand insisted that a family member of Ronaldo is having health issues.

The 37-year-old is yet to show up at Carrington ahead of the new season, amid talk he has requested to leave United this summer.

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But Ferdinand said: “I’ve been seeing people being a touch disrespectful. The way that people are questioning ‘he’s not here’ and the hysteria surrounding it. A member of his family is not well, so he’s not at training.

“This is the most consummate, most professional athlete that we’ve seen on these shores. The most professional athlete we’ve seen for over 15 years and people are questioning this guy’s professionalism and why he’s not at the training ground.

“Yeah he might want to leave, he might not be happy with certain things at the football club, but in terms of professionalism, this guy is training where he is – we’ve seen the pictures.

“His family are there, he needs to be where they are and you have to respect that. Simple as. Could it have been communicated better by the club? Probably.”

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EPL: Chelsea striker seeks to dump club ahead of pre-season

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Representatives of Chelsea striker Armando Broja have told the club that their client will push to leave Stamford Bridge if he is not included in the pre-season tour.

Broja was at Southampton on loan last season and scored nine goals during his time with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

Newcastle United, Everton, Southampton and West Ham are all queuing up the 20-year-old’s signature.

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Chelsea are considering a £30 million offer for Broja, while West Ham have also opened talks with the Blues.

Albanian TV report that Broja’s entourage has made it clear to Chelsea that the striker would want to leave Stamford Bridge again if Thomas Tuchel makes it clear that he is not part of his plans for the upcoming campaign.

Broja is due to hold talks with Tuchel and co-owner Todd Boehly when he begins pre-season training.

Chelsea’s pre-season tour begins with a training camp in Los Angeles, United States, while their first fixture is against Club America in Las Vegas on July 16.

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Transfer: Lewandowski agrees three-year deal with Barcelona

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Bayern Munich striker, Robert Lewandowski has agreed a three-year contract with Barcelona.

This claim was made by respected transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano.

According to Romano, this agreement has been in place for months now and the only thing left is for both clubs to strike a deal.

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“Nothing has changed in Robert Lewandowski’s mind. He’s still convinced on Barcelona as next club after personal terms agreed months ago on a three year deal, no negotiations with any other club as of now.

“Barcelona will contact FC Bayern again soon,” Romano tweeted.

Lewandowski has one year left on his current deal with the Bundesliga champions and has publicly declared his desire to leave this summer.

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