Trying to work out the answer to the question ‘how many records does Lionel Messi hold?’, is a thankless task!
He holds so many!
As an example of this, a few days ago I wrote a post that dealt with the question ’what is the most number of goals Messi has scored in one match?’.
I thought it was a safe bet to write that. At the time of writing Messi is on the verge of turning 35, no doubt he will score a few more goals, a hat-trick or two even, but at least that is one post I wouldn’t need to go back and update.
48 hours later he scored five for Argentina in a game against Estonia! So if this blog post seems hopelessly out of date when you read it, please don’t blame me!
How Many Records Does Lionel Messi Hold?
A lot! Messi holds so many records it is difficult to put a number on them. Some of the most impressive include the most goals and assists ever, the most goals in a calendar year, the most goals in a single season of European club football, the most goals for Argentina and the most consecutive league games scored in. And that is just the tip of the iceberg…
Club Records Held by Lionel Messi
No other player in the history of football has more goals and assists than Lionel Messi. In 974 appearances for club and country, he has 769 goals and contributed 331 assists, giving him a total of 1,100 direct goal involvements.
For anyone in the future to match that, presuming they made their debut at 18, they would need to register 50 goals and assists every season until the age of 40!
Lionel Messi also holds probably the two most important records in Barcelona’s history. He is their all-time top goalscorer with 672 goals and also their all-time appearance record holder with 778 appearances.
Just to top it off he has won more trophies for Barcelona than anyone else – 35, and no player has scored as many goals for a single club as his 672 for Barca.
In 2011/12 Messi set the record for the most goals in a La Liga season with 50. That same season he scored 73 goals in all competitions, becoming the top scorer in a single season in the history of European club football.
In the calendar year of 2012 he scored 91 goals, robbing Gerd Muller of the record. It was also Muller who had previously held the record for most goals in a single season in the history of European club football.
He has scored more hattricks than any other player in La Liga with 36. Messi has also scored against more teams in the competition than any player, netting against 37 different opponents. Messi also holds the record for the most goals in the ultimate grudge game in Spain – ‘El Clasico’, with 26 scored against Real Madrid.
In 2013 he scored in 21 consecutive league games, a run only ended by a hamstring injury. He scored 33 goals in that time and broke another record by scoring against all other 19 La Liga teams in a single season.
He has hit double figures in more consecutive La Liga seasons than any other player – 14 in total. He also scored over 40 goals in ten seasons in a row running from 2008/09 to 2018/19. During that period he also became the only player to score over 60 goals in all competitions in two consecutive seasons, 2011/12 and 2012/13. He also broke another record by scoring over 30 goals in 13 successive club seasons.
He is, of course, La Liga’s all-time leading goalscorer and assists maker. Messi has been La Liga top scorer 8 times, no other player has managed more than five.
He is equally lethal in European Competition, becoming the first player to score 5 goals in a Champions League knockout tie when he struck five times against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012. He has also hit the back of the net against 35 different teams in the Champion’s League, another record.
He is also the youngest player to score 50 goals and reach 100 appearances in the Champions League.
Messi has won a record 7 Ballon d’Or awards, including four in a row from 2009 to 2012, and has appeared in the top three for the award 11 times, another record. He also has a record six European Gold Shoes.
National Records Held by Lionel Messi
When Lionel Messi scored five goals against Estonia in June 2022, he extended his lead as Argentina’s top goalscorer even further.
That took him to 86 goals for La Albiceleste, 37 more than the next player on the list Gabriel Batistuta. He also has the most assists for Argentina, with 49.
The game against Estonia was his 162nd for Argentina, again another record.
So he has the most goals, assists and appearances for his country, but what else?
Well, those five goals against Estonia made him the first player to score five goals in a European Cup/Champions League match and an international.
Messi also holds the record for the most international goals by a South American male and his eight hat-tricks for Argentina is a record for his country.
In Messi’s glorious 2012 year he scored 12 goals in 9 games for Argentina, equalling Gabriel Batistuta’s record of most goals in a calendar year for Argentina.
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He is also the leading scorer in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers and the only Argentina player to score against every CONMEBOL nation.
He also holds the record for being the youngest player to both play and score for Argentina in a World Cup, when he scored within 15 minutes of coming on as a substitute in a group game against Serbia in 2006.
Selected Records Held by Messi: At-a-Glance
Most La Liga Goals in a Season
In 2011/12 Messi scored 50 goals in La Liga. The record prior to that was when Cristiano Ronaldo scored 40 the previous season, and the 30 goals in a season mark had only been breached nine times in the previous 55 seasons!
He scored 50 goals in 37 games, working out at 1.37 goals per game. He scored eight hat-tricks, which also included two 4 goal hauls.
Most Goals in a Calendar Year
2012 wasn’t a bad year for Messi, only 91 goals in all for him!
He scored 79 in 60 games for Barca and a further 12 in 9 for Argentina, so 91 goals in 69 games. That equated to a goal every 66 minutes. He scored more goals by himself than 13 La Liga teams in the same period!
In the year he notched 22 braces and nine hattricks, which included two four-goal hauls and five goals in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen.
Most Goals in Consecutive League Games
From notching against Real Mallorca on 11 November 2012, through to two goals against Real Betis on 5 May, Lionel Messi scored in a remarkable 21 consecutive matches.
He scored 33 goals in total and also set another record by scoring against all other 19 La Liga teams in the same season.
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The record prior to this was a ‘mere’ 16 by Gerd Muller for Bayern Munich in the 1969/70 season.
Messi’s goalscoring record in the La Liga for the 2012-13 season went:
Over 40 Goals in Ten Successive Seasons
From 2009 to 2019 Messi’s total domestic goals per season went like this:
After this period he then scored 31 and 38 goals to break another Gerd Muller record, scoring 30 plus goals in 13 consecutive seasons.
This article has been both a nightmare and a delight to write.
A nightmare as Messi has broken so many records it is difficult to keep track of them all, but a delight as a reminder of just what an extraordinary player he is.
The outcome is, I can’t definitely say how many records Lionel Messi does hold! But it is a lot, it must be more than any other player in football history, although I would imagine Cristiano Ronaldo runs him close.
For me, the periods that stick out are the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.
During this time he scored the most goals in a La Liga season (50), became the only player to score over 60 goals in two consecutive seasons, became the top scorer in a single season of European club football (73 goals), set a new record for the most goals in a calendar year (91) and scored in 21 consecutive La Liga games, including scoring against every other La Liga team in a single season.
Truly mindblowing stats!
All stats correct as of June 2022.
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