BARCELONA

Messi closing in on Xavi's all-time appearance record

Leo Messi will make his 505th LaLiga appearance for Barcelona against Alavés, matching Xavi and leaving the Argentinean eight short of the overall record.

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Messi closing in on Xavi's all-time appearance record
JOSE JORDAN AFP

Leo Messi has yet another Barcelona record in his sights as Ronald Koeman’s side host Alavés at Camp Nou on Saturday: Xavi Hernández’s all-time LaLiga appearance tally for the club of 505 games. If he features against Abelardo’s side, Messi will equal that number and move to within just eight games of the former midfielder’s overall record for the club of 767 games in all competitions.

Messi’s statistics in LaLiga make for some reading: 373 victories, 83 draws and 48 defeats, with 457 goals scored across 40,700 minutes. The closest player to Messi in terms of games played is Sergio Busquets, with 398 in the league and 608 overall, placing the holding midfielder fourth in the all-time list behind Andrés Iniesta.

However, Messi still has some way to go to get among the top five all-time appearance makers in LaLiga history. Leading that list is former Barça and Spain keeper Andoni Zubizarreta (622), followed by Joaquín (still going at Betis on 567), Raúl González (550), Eusebio Sacristán (543), and Paco Buyo (542).

Messi's scoring records for Barcelona

The Argentinean has already smashed all scoring records available to him in LaLiga by overtaking César Rodríguez for Barcelona, Telmo Zarra as all-time scorer and winner of most Pichichi trophies in Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo as the player with most hat-tricks. Last December, Messi broke Pelé’s historic mark for most goals scored for a single club but he still has one target to reach - Ronaldo's record as the highest scorer in the history of the game.