Lionel Messi surpassed Xavi to become Barcelona’s all-time highest appearance maker. The Argentine forward achieved the feat when he started the La Liga match against Real Sociedad on Sunday (March 20). Messi has now played 768 matches in all competitions for Barcelona moving one clear of Xavi, whose record he had equalled in mid-week against Huesca. The 33-year-old is rumoured to be leaving Barcelona at the end of the current season. But even if he does, Messi has already established himself in the club’s history with several milestones in his name. Lionel Messi Plays 768th Match for Barcelona, Overtakes Xavi in Club’s Overall Appearance Record.
Barcelona paid a tribute to the mercurial forward as he reached another milestone. The club shared a collage of Messi’s time at the club and his many goal celebrations with the record, ‘768 Games’, in the middle of the picture. “A L O N E A T T H E T O P” the club captioned the post on Instagram. Since making his senior debut for the club in 2004, Messi has gone on and rewritten almost every record at the club. Take a look at the post. Real Sociedad 1–6 Barcelona, Goal Video Highlights: Lionel Messi Scores a Brace As Catalan Club Rout Sociedad.
Lionel Messi Becomes Barcelona's Record Highest Appearance Maker
Of Messi’s 768 matches in all competitions at Barcelona, 511 matches have come in the La Liga. He has played 149 matches in the UEFA Champions League, 79 in the Copa del Rey, 20 in the Spanish Super Cup, five matches in Club World Cup and four in European Super Cup. He holds the record of playing most La Liga matches for Barcelona.
Messi has won 536 of the 768 matches he has played. He has drawn 140 games and lost 91 matches. He has also scored the most goals in Barcelona’s history with 661 goals to his name. Messi’s 120 goals in the UEFA Champions League also makes him the highest-scoring Barcelona player in Europe.
The 33-year-old celebrated the milestone with a brace against Real Sociedad as Barcelona thumped Sociedad 6-1 to move to second in the league table. The double over Sociedad took Messi’s league goal tally to 23 this season and moved him four clear of the next best Luiz Suarez. He had also scored a double against Huesca on the night he equalled Xavi’s record.