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  • Ten Of The Best: Lionel Messi'S Most Iconic Moments At Barcelona

Ten of the best: Lionel Messi's most iconic moments at Barcelona

One of the biggest signings in world soccer has been completed as Lionel Messi officially becomes a Paris Saint-Germain player.

When one door closes, another one opens. 

In the case of Lionel Messi, it's the beginning of a new era as he makes a historic move to Paris Saint-Germain.

This momentous move comes on the back of Barcelona's decision to let the player go.

In an official statement the club said 'financial and structural obstacles' were the reasons behind Messi leaving.

The Argentine attacker captivated Catalonia for 17 seasons, with his superb skill, unmatched dribbling and prolific goalscoring record.

If words can't describe Messi, then the statistics certainly can.

Over 1,000 combined goals and assists, six Ballon d'Ors, 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and five European Golden Shoes amongst a host of illustrious individual and team honors to date.

From his incredible first hat-trick as a teenager in El Clasico to an unmatched 91-goal scoring spree in a single calendar year, the miniature maestro has undeniably impacted the game forever.

Although this list could go way into its hundreds, here are just 10 iconic moments from Lionel Messi's breathtaking Barcelona career.

91 goals in a calendar year

Accomplishing one of the most impressive individual sporting achievements of all time, a magisterial Messi recorded 91 goals for club and country between 2012 and 2013, with 29 assists for good measure.

Incredibly averaging a goal every 66 minutes over a period of 69 games, the prolific forward smashed the 40-year-old record of the most goals scored in a calendar year set by German striker Gerd Muller.

Broken down as 59 goals in 38 matches in La Liga, 13 goals in 12 Champions League appearances, five goals in eight Copa del Rey games, two goals in the Supercopa and 12 in nine for Argentina, the talisman returned figures of which the world had never seen.

Messi's astounding achievement was widely celebrated in January, 2013, when he was awarded the Ballon d'Or a remarkable fourth time in a row, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta.

2011 Champions League final

In one of the most anticipated Champions League finals of the century, Pep Guardiola and Messi locked horns with the great Sir Alex Ferguson at Wembley, the citadel of the beautiful game.

It was the second time the teams had met in the final in just three years and having won the previous encounter in 2009, Barcelona triumphed once more, with a resounding 3-1 victory.
Rising above the occasion, Messi destroyed the Premier League champions with a man of the match display, to secure Blaugrana their fourth of five European crowns to date, and the third of his career.
Terrorising the Mancunian outfit for the whole game, Barcelona's star man scored an incredible goal for his side's second, with an audacious 30-yard strike that flew past Edwin van der Sar.

Sixth Ballon d'Or win

Messi made history yet again in 2019, when he was awarded a record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or trophy, beating Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to the coveted prize in Paris.

The award rounded off another special year for the forward as he won La Liga, captured the European Golden Shoe and recorded the most goals in the Champions League (12) amongst a plethora of other achievements.

With 41 goals and 15 assists to his name in 44 appearances, Messi became the first player to have received the honor six times, having been previously tied at five each, with age-old rival, CR7.

Speaking on his victory, a delighted Messi said it was a 'historic' moment and that he hopes to enjoy succeeding in football for 'as long as he can.'

READ MORE: Lionel Messi's iconic Argentina moments

Semi-final solo strike

Writing another chapter of the rivalry's iconic tale, Messi mauled Mourinho's Madrid in the semi-finals of the 2010/11 Champions League, scoring a superb solo goal as the world watched on in amazement.

Bagging a brace in a crucial 2-0 win away from home, the Argentine opened the scoring in the 76th minute, but it was his second finish of the night that etched itself in the folklore of European football.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, he received the ball from Sergio Busquets 30 yards from the Madrid goal, beating player after player as he glided into the box to coolly slot past Iker Casillas.
Renowned as one of the competition's most famous goals, the marvellous Messi had propelled his side towards another European triumph.

Four goals against Arsenal

Messi earned a rare 'perfect 10' rating from French football experts L'Equipe as he inspired a decimation of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in the Champions League just over a decade ago.

In one of the best individual performances the tournament has ever seen, he ran rampage as the Catalonians cruised to a 4-1 victory on home soil.
Commencing the carnage for the hosts by scoring one of the year's best goals, the Argentine hit a ferocious strike across Manuel Almunia to begin a quality quadruple.
In his reaction after the game, a vanquished Wenger hailed Messi as the influence in the tie's outcome, claiming 'he can make the difference at any moment, he will go on to be so special.'

First Barcelona goal

Beginning a career scoring spree that has now amassed over 700, Messi announced himself to Camp Nou in May, 2005, when he scored his first senior goal for Barcelona.
The teenager - who donned the number-30 jersey - was initially denied the opportunity earlier in the match, he had the ball in the Albacete net but was subsequently flagged offside, much to his disappointment.
Having been stopped once before, Messi made no mistake in ensuring he scored his first of many for the club.
Receiving a lofted ball from Ronaldinho in the opponent's box after a quick one-two, he patiently let the ball bounce before cleverly lobbing it over the keeper and into an empty goal.
Embracing his Brazilian mentor as an amazed home crowd erupted, it was clear that Barcelona had a special talent on their hands.

Incredible solo goal against Getafe

Widely debated as one of his greatest ever, Messi's incredible solo goal against Getafe in 2007 is undoubtedly one of the best that Spanish football has ever seen.
Embarking on an exhilarating run from his own half, the nimble attacker utilised his exceptional footwork and lightning pace to run through four Getafe outfield players, before rounding the keeper to score in style.
The finish even drew comparisons between the teenager and his legendary countryman Diego Maradona, for its similarities to his goal against England at the 1986 World Cup (no, the other one.)
In a fan chosen vote on the club's website for their best goal ever, Messi took the three top positions, with this one beating his unbelievable solo effort against Bilbao and his heroic Champions League strike against Real Madrid to take top spot.

Breaking Pele's record

Having already become Barcelona's and La Liga's record goalscorer, Messi further cemented his place as an all-time great when he broke Pele's record for the most goals scored for a single club.
Scoring his 644th career goal against Real Valladolid in the last week of 2020, the amazing Argentine surpassed the tally set by the brilliant Brazilian in his days at Santos, between 1956 and 1974.
The achievement received worldwide praise, including from the previous record holder himself as Pele congratulated Messi, praising him for his 'beautiful career' so far.
Amazingly, he was able to record this figure in just his 749th appearance for the Balugrana.

First hat-trick

For any player, a first career hat-trick is a momentous occasion of the highest order, but to score your first in an El Clasico - to single handedly keep your side in the game - is the stuff of legend.

Cancelling out two goals from Ruud van Nistelrooy and a header from Sergio Ramos, Messi's trio of strikes brought Barcelona back from behind on three separate occasions to rescue them a point at Camp Nou.

His third was the pick of the bunch, unleashing a rocket of a strike on his left foot after dancing through the Madrid players, leaving Iker Casillas in no man's land.
The game is widely marked as the day a young Messi transitioned from one of the game's hottest prospects into one of its most valuable players.

Last-minute El Clasico winner

The year 2017 saw another magical Messi performance in an El Clasico, bagging a Bernabeu brace for Barca as they defeated their rivals in spectacular fashion.

In the first half, he was on hand to cancel out Casemiro's opener, before both sides scored another goal each to take it to two apiece.
With the score level deep into stoppage time, it took a moment of greatness from Barcelona's iconic forward to decide the fixture once and for all.
The Rosario native euphorically marked his 500th goal for the club just fifteen seconds from time, in one of the best Clasico moments in history.
Meeting a Jordi Alba pass on the edge of the area, he navigated a perfect first-time strike past Keylor Navas, removing his shirt in celebration as he proudly held it aloft to the world.

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