Record-breaking Messi turns 28

Posted: 24 June 2015 Time: 12:48 pm

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi today celebrates his 28th birthday, as KickOff.com reflects on the Argentine wizard’s decorated career thus far.

The talented forward is currently on international duty at the Copa America, having just earned his 100th international cap, while coming off the back of a treble-winning season with La Liga club Barca.

Having made his professional debut 11 years ago, Messi is constantly rewriting the history books with his incredible goal-scoring form for both club and country, filling up his already bulging trophy cabinet along the way.

And at 28, there will no doubt be more records tumbling for the Rosario-born striker in future as he continues to capture the imagination of football fans the world over.

VIDEO: The best of Messi 2014/15

Here, KickOff.com looks back at a few of Messi’s most memorable moments in his illustrious career so far:

Barcelona:

  • 16/10/2004: Makes his debut for the Barcelona first team, becoming his club’s youngest player in La Liga at 17 years and 114 days as he comes on as a second-half substitute for Deco in a 1-0 win over Espanyol.
  • 1/5/2005: Scores his first official goal for Barcelona against Albacete, combining with Brazilian star Ronaldinho as he lobs the opposition keeper to open his Barca account.
  • 11/3/2007: Becomes the first player to net a hat-trick against Real Madrid in El Clasico as he earns his side a 3-3 draw against their perennial rivals.
  • 17/4/2007: Finishes an amazing run from the halfway line with a goal against Getafe reminiscent of Diego Maradona’s famous World Cup goal against England, as comparisons with the Argentine legend begin.
  • 27/5/2009: Scores a header in Barcelona’s 2-0 Champions League Final win over Manchester United.
  • 1/12/2009: Wins his first of four Ballon d’Or trophies – the most-ever won by an individual player thus far.
  • 16/1/2010: Scores his 100th goal for Barcelona against Sevilla at the Camp Nou.
  • 20/3/2012: Becomes Barcelona’s all-time top goal-scorer in official matches after a hat-trick in a 5-3 win over Granada to surpass club legend Cesar’s tally of 235 goals.
  • 22/12/2012: Breaks Muller’s record of the most goals in a calendar year, scoring 91 – 79 for Barca and 12 for Argentina.
  • 16/2/2013: A brace in a 2-1 win over Granada takes him to 300 goals for his club.
  • 16/3/2014: Surpasses Paulino Alcantara’s record of 369 goals as Barcelona’s leading goal-scorer in all competitions (including friendlies).
  • 18/4/2015: Messi scored his 400th goal for Barcelona in a 2–0 home win over Valencia.
  • 6/6/2015: Lifts his fourth Champions League title on his way to winning the treble with Barcelona for the second time.

Argentina:

  • 17/8/2005: Makes his debut in a 2-1 win over Hungary, but is sent off after 65 minutes for catching young defender Vilmos Vanczak with a flailing arm.
  • 1/3/2006: Scores his first goal for his country in a friendly victory against Croatia.
  • 21/6/2006: Becomes the youngest player to represent Argentina at a World Cup, coming on as as a substitute against Serbia and Montenegro. Went on to score the last goal in a 6-0 win, becoming the youngest scorer in the tournament and the sixth youngest goal-scorer in the history of the World Cup.
  • 15/7/2007: Loses the Copa America final to rivals Brazil.
  • 23/08/2008: Provides the assist for Angel di Maria in a 1-0 win over Nigeria as Argetina win the 2008 Olympics goal medal.
  • 22/06/2010: Captains Argentina for the first time in a 2-0 World Cup group stage win over Greece.
  • 29/2/2012: Scores his first hat-trick a friendly against Switzerland.
  • 22/3/2013: Scores his first goal from the penalty spot in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela.
  • 13/07/2014: Wins the Golden Ball at the World Cup, while captaining his side to the runners up spot after losing to Germany in the Final.
  • 20/06/2015: Earns his 100th cap for Argentina in a 1-0 Copa America victory over Jamaica, becoming the fifth Argentine to do so.

Major Honours:

• Seven League titles, four Champions League trophies, three Spanish Cups
• Four-time Ballon d’Or winner
• Olympic Gold medallist and U-20 World Cup champions (both with Argentina)
• Four-time Champions League top goal-scorer
• Five-time La Liga Player of the Year
• Three-time World Young Player of the Year
• 2014 World Cup Player of the Tournament

2014/15 Season Statistics:

La Liga: 38 games 43 goals 21 assists
Champions League: 13 games 10 goals 6 assists
Copa del Rey: 6 games 5 goals 4 assists
Total: 57 games 58 goals 31 assists

Barcelona record: 412 goals in 482 games
Argentina record: 46 goals in 100 games

 

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