Lionel Messi signs two-year contract with PSG; Here’s a look back at his career at Barcelona

The world football legend and Argentinian forward Lionel Messi who left Barcelona after 21 years last week, has signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The French giants said in a statement that the Argentine superstar is signing a two-year deal “with an option of a third year.”

Messi, 34, will wear the number 30, the number he had when he began his professional career at Barca and is set to be unveiled by PSG.

“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain. Everything about the club matches my football ambitions,” Messi said in the statement. “I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here. I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes.”

Neymar, who played with Messi at Barça and now stars for PSG wrote on Instagram in a story: “Back Together.”

Barcelona last won the Champions League in 2015 when Messi and Neymar were playing together and PSG will hope the reunion of two of the world’s greatest players will help them secure Europe’s top tournament for the first time.

In his career at Barcelona in which he won numerous major collective and individual awards, including four Champions League titles and 10 La Liga titles.

Career with Barcelona:

  • Messi joined Barcelona aged 13 and went on to score 672 goals in 778 appearances for the club.The 34-year-old won La Liga 10 times and the Champions League four times.
  • Messi played 778 games for Barcelona in all competitions, scoring 672 goals and providing 265 assists across those games. That amounts to 937 goal involvements during his Barca career, which began as a 17-year-old. HIs first hat-trick against Real-Madrid was in 2007. Previously a one-club man, his first appearance for Barcelona came under Frank Rijkaard against Espanyol in October 2004, while his first goal arrived seven months later against Albacete at Camp Nou from a Ronaldinho assist.
  • Brazil great Ronaldinho was the last Barcelona player to wear the famed number 10 before Messi took that shirt in 2008 and made it his own.
  • Messi played under eight different coaches during his time with Barcelona. Of those, he featured most often (219 appearances) and scored the most goals (211) during Pep Guardiola’s tenure. 
  • Messi’s most prolific season as a Barcelona player was in 2011-12 when scoring a remarkable 73 goals in all competitions and providing a further 28 assists, setting a personal record in both categories.
  • Indeed, the forward netted 79 goals for his club across the calendar year in 2012, which is a record amount by a single player. His next most prolific year was 2010 when registering 58 times.
  • In more recent years, Messi managed 51 goals in 2016, 50 goals in 2017, 47 goals in 2018, 45 goals in 2019 and 26 goals in 2020 – a steady decline that he had already rectified this year, having scored 28 times in the first half of 2021.
  • Messi’s 672 goals for Barcelona were scored against 82 different teams. Sevilla were his favourite opponent, finding the net against them 38 times in 43 appearances.
  • Atletico Madrid were next on that particular list, with Messi bagging 32 goals in that fixture, followed by Valencia (31), Athletic Bilbao (29) and bitter rivals Real Madrid (26), making him the leading all-time scorer in El Clasico.

Read also: Lionel Messi will no longer stay with Barcelona; confirmed officially

Messi’s other achievements and records:

  •  Messi is the all-time LaLiga top scorer with 474 goals and is the second-highest scorer ever in Europe’s top five leagues behind Cristiano Ronaldo (476).
  •  He scored in 21 consecutive LaLiga games between November 2012 and May 2013, a record for a player in the competition’s history.
  • The Newell’s Old Boys product is one of only two players to reach 100 goals in Champions League history (120), alongside Cristiano Ronaldo (134).
  • Messi was the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match, doing so against Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012 at Camp Nou.
  • The Argentina forward is one of six players to score more than 50 goals in Copa del Rey’s history and the only one to score in six different finals in the tournament (Telmo Zarra scored in five).

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