The Argentinean chalked up his fourth ton of domestic goals on Sunday against the Basques, against whom he has only failed to score once in nine meetings.
Leo Messi bagged his 400th Liga goal against Eibar on Sunday, cementing his place as the most lethal marksman the division has ever seen by chalking up his fourth ton in a Barça shirt.
Messi scored his first domestic league goal against Albacate on May 1, 2005, in a two-minute cameo from the bench. His 100th came against Almería in 2010, his 200th versus Osasuna in 2013 and his 300th against Sporting in February 2016.
The next most prolific scorer in LaLiga history, Cristiano Ronaldo, has 311 in the competition but will not be bothering Messi’s record after his move last summer from Real Madrid to Juventus.
Messi: a worthy heir to Telmo Zarra
In all likelihood, the Argentinean’s mark will to be beaten. Athletic legend Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 Liga goals had stood for over half a century before Messi and Ronaldo set about dismantling the books and the chances are two players as prolific as the Barça number 10 and his long-time rival at Madrid will not emerge again in the same division for a similar length of time.
Sevilla are Messi’s favourite victim, the forward having scored 25 against the Andalusian side in LaLiga. They are followed by Atlético (23), Valencia (22), Osasuna (21), Deportivo (20) and Espanyol (20).
Despite Eibar’s brief presence in the top flight the Gunners have come to treat a date with Messi with trepidation: the Argentinean has only failed to score once against the Basque side, bagging 12 in the league and four alone in his last meeting with the visitors in Camp Nou.