BARCELONA

Messi makes 500th LaLiga appearance

The Argentine star reached the milestone against Huesca on Sunday. Only Xavi Hernández, with 505, has played more games in LaLiga as a Blaugrana.

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Messi makes 500th LaLiga appearance
PAU BARRENA AFP

Lionel Messi had more than enough reasons to turn tonight's match at El Alcoraz into an unforgettable night. Firstly, because it was the first time he had played at Huesca's stadium. Secondly, because he played his 500th game in LaLiga and thirdly, because he reached 750 official games.

Barcelona came into this clash in desperate need of points, especially after the last two draws at home to Valencia and Eibar, which have left the Blaugrana as outsiders for the top spots.

Messi is also very close to surpassing the player with the most games in the history of the club. Midfield maestro Xavi Hernández played 505 league games for the Camp Nou outfit. With five more games to Messi's name, he will equal the record of the Al Sadd coach's appearances. In addition, the Argentine will be only 17 games away from matching Xavi's club record for the highest number of official matches with Barcelona, 767.

LaLiga record

The record for official matches in LaLiga is held by former goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta, with a total of 622, having represented three clubs: Athletic Club (169), Barcelona (301) and Valencia (152).

Since making his debut for Barcelona, Messi has now played 500 league games, 147 in the Champions League, 75 in the Copa del Rey, 19 in the Spanish Super Cup, five in the Club World Cup and four in the European Super Cup.

Surpassed Pelé's goals record

In 750 games, the 33-year-old has scored 644 goals, which has also made him the player with the most goals for a single club in the entire history of football, surpassing Brazilian legend Pelé, who managed to maintain his record of 643 goals with Santos for over five decades.

Messi's 500 league appearances have seen him win a total of nine league titles in just over 17 years.