'We're blessed to live in his time': Lionel Messi creates history with 400th La Liga goal (VIDEO)
Barcelona's Argentine maestro Lionel Messi, recorded his 400th La Liga goal for the Catalan club against Eibar on Sunday, cementing his position as the all-time top goalscorer in the Spanish top division.
Messi's assured his status as the most potent goalscoring threat in the history of Spanish football when he scored Barcelona's second goal in a 3-0 win against Eibar at Camp Nou.
Incredibly, Messi's history-making 400th goal came in just his 435th La Liga appearance for Barca as they stretched their lead at the top of the table to five points midway through the season.
This means that the Messi has found the net for Barcelona on average every 0.92 games since his debut in 2004. During this time he has scored an incredible 31 hat-tricks for the club, as well as a further 83 braces.
Luis Suarez, who scored twice, set up Messi's groundbreaking goal in the 53rd minute. It was his 17th goal in 17 games so far this campaign and it extends the record of the league's top goalscorer in history, which he has held since 2014.
#Messi & @LuisSuarez9 in @LaLigaEN ...2014/15: 43 + 16 = 59 ⚽2015/16: 26 + 40 = 66 ⚽2016/17: 37 + 29 = 66 ⚽2017/18: 34 + 25 = 59 ⚽2018/19: 17 + 14 = 31 ⚽ Next challenge: @CDLeganes🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/z5fKKSqxCY— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 13, 2019
Cristiano Ronaldo, the former Real Madrid man who now plies his trade in Turin for Juventus, is in second place with 311 goals in 292 games.
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde paid tribute to his star player after the game. "His numbers are stratospheric, they are incredible, but it’s not just the goals, it’s everything else he does too," he said.
Luis Suarez also noted his teammate's accomplishment, saying that he is "proud" of Messi's contribution to the team. "Obviously, we have to be very proud of Messi because every week he demonstrates how good he is and continues to make history with the club," he added.
Messi has just scored his 400th goal for @FCBarcelona in @LaLigaEN. It would be an astonishing statistic if he were just a goal scorer, but he’s so much more than that. We’re blessed to live in his time. 👏👏👏— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 13, 2019
Lionel Messi is the King of LaLiga. No contest— Bhadmus Hakeem (@Bhadoosky) January 13, 2019
4️⃣0️⃣0️⃣82% Left 15% Right3% Head100% 🐐 pic.twitter.com/yeRpvanoKt— Team Messi (@TeamMessi) January 13, 2019
The plaudits are very much deserved. Messi's impact on La Liga isn't just notable for this goal-scoring impact, but the manner in which he scores the goals. He has scored practically every type of goal imaginable: inside the box, outside of the box, left foot, right food and, yes, even a handful with his head.
It all started in May 2005 with a delicate lob against Albacete, assisted by the talismanic Ronaldinho. It was clearly a sign of things to come. Since then, Messi has left an indelible imprint on Spanish football and has scored some of the most memorable goals in La Liga history.
A REMINDER:#OnThisDay 2005Lionel Messi scored his first Barcelona goal with the help of Ronaldinho, in a 2-0 win over Albacete.Since then he has recently reached 550 goals for Barca 😱⚽️pic.twitter.com/nOOtlnG1V3— Football Remind (@FootballRemind) May 1, 2018
Possibly my favourite ever Lionel Messi goal. From 2013 against Athletic Bilbao. Stunning. pic.twitter.com/AmGNjZrWL0— Garth Smith (@GarthWSmith) January 9, 2019
One of his finest efforts in Barcelona colors occurred way back when Messi as just 19 years old against Getafe at Camp Nou. Receiving the ball at the half-way line, Messi dribbled past four players and rounded the goalkeeper in a strike which bore an uncanny resemblance to Diego Maradona's legendary goal against England during the 1986 World Cup - a fitting achievement for Messi.