Lionel Messi now needs just six goals to become the all-time record goal scorer in the Champions League ahead of Tuesday’s last-16 trip to Manchester City.
The Argentina skipper became the third highest goalscorer in the La Liga history as his brace in Saturday’s 6-0 win over Rayo Vallecano moved him level with former Real Madrid striker Raul on 228 goals.
These (228) strikes were made in just 263 appearances, seeing him leapfrog another ex-Real striker Alfredo Di Stefano’s 227 goals in 359 games.
Messi now has Telmo Zarra (251) and Hugo Sanchez (235) goalscoring prowess to surmount in his bid to becoming the Spanish La Liga goal king and Raul’s 71 strikes to rule the goalscorers’ chart in Europe’s elite club competition.
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martinez thinks Messi can “break any record he sets his mind to” but adds that the forward is yet to peak, despite scoring five goals in his last three matches.
“He’ll lose count (of the records he breaks)” Martino told the club’s website.
“Barca enjoy him and Argentina does.
“I’d like to think that Messi still has a bit to go before he’s 100% fit.
“We’re on form coming into the match against City, this is the perfect moment to try to qualify for the quarter-finals. Most of the players are playing really well.”
Messi’s superlative feat includes scoring the most goals in a season, the most international goals in a season and the most goals in a calendar year.