The longest serving player for Barcelona, Lionel Messi has finally parted ways with the Catalan club after the two parties failed to reach an agreement regarding Messi’s contract. While the talismanic striker leaves Camp Nou, he surely departs with a place in every Barcelona fans’ heart. Lionel Messi produced iconic performances week in and week out as Messi landed trophies for the Catalans.
From the free-kick against Liverpool to dismantle Alisson’s frame to destroying Bayern Munich’s dream back in 2015, the list of iconic performances by Messi for Barcelona is quite lengthy. Camp Nou will surely miss his magic when they begin their season and he won’t be seen donning the captain’s armband. We at FootTheBall take a look at all the iconic performances that Lionel Messi has produced for Barcelona.
91 GOALS IN A CALENDAR YEAR
Even with La Liga’s goal-scoring machine enjoying different escapades throughout his tenure at Camp Nou, the Argentine’s career-high in 2012 still looks improbable – 91 strikes in a calendar year.
In a series of 69 outings for Barcelona and Argentina, he scored 79 strikes for the Catalans and 12 for La Albiceleste. Even though he just earned the Copa del Rey in 2012 for all those efforts, it was sufficient to award Messi a historic Ballon d’Or for the fourth year in a row.
THE FIRST HATTRICK
Imagine being a teenager and smashing a hattrick against Los Blancos’ galacticos and their roster of jaw-dropping defenders. Lionel Messi made Madrid’s defenders dance on his tunes scoring three goals for the Catalans.
Lionel Messi’s first Hat-trick was against Real Madrid 🤯
His second hat-trick?
Vs Atletico Madrid 😳 pic.twitter.com/AaCTp5pTo4
— MessiTeam (@Lionel10Team) July 30, 2021
The teenager’s first hattrick, the Classico at Camp Nou witnessed the unveiling of one of the world’s hottest prospects. In his last goal, the Argentine outwitted two defenders before finding the back of Madrid’s frame demolishing the rivals’ aspirations.
‘THAT’ GOAL AGAINST GETAFE
Ask any Lionel Messi fan what’s the best goal the Argentine has scored and he would turn the clock back to Messi’s daunting run against Getafe. Messi’s effort in the first round of the Copa del Rey semi-final 14 years ago is still considered one of his best.
— GOLAZO (@golazoargentino) April 18, 2017
Messi scooped up possession in Barcelona’s half, beat roughly five players, ran around the keeper, and tucked in a winner that had interesting parallels to Diego Maradona’s masterpiece versus the Three Lions in 1986.
A LAST-MINUTE WINNER
Often a goal looks just too good to be true, and this was one of those instances. In 2017, Messi scored a winner against Real Madrid in the dying minutes of the Classico, stroking home a first-time curler to beat the diving Los Blancos’ goalkeeper.
Messi’s 500th goal in the Catalans outfit, the goal propelled Messi and company to the summit of the forum. For added fun, legendary jubilation followed Messi’s winner. He removed his jersey and stretched it out for the Bernabeu crowd to show his moniker.
BREAKING RECORDS IN LA LIGA
Another goal-scoring milestone is being shattered, another hattrick being scored. Messi’s beautiful outing against Sevilla broke another record. A whopping dead ball routine saw Messi equalling Telmo Zarra’s 251-goal landmark, and the Argentine’s third goal of the night shattered and extended the record.
Lionel Messi breaks Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goal-scoring record of 251 goals with a free-kick for Barcelona against Sevilla.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 22, 2014
And when Messi’s teammates threw the Argentine in the air, the smile on his face explained the happiness he was experiencing with the club.
5 AGAINST LEVERKUSEN
Another iconic moment in Lionel Messi’s life, his combination with the trio of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez was commendable. Against Bayer Leverkusen, the Argentine netted an unimaginable 5 goals in a single match destroying the German’s aspirations of making it to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
ON THIS DAY: In 2012, Lionel Messi became the first player in Champions League history to score 5 or more goals in a match as Barcelona thrashed Bayer Leverkusen 7-1.#WeAreMessi #Messi pic.twitter.com/No8BQvxlFJ
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) March 7, 2020
A memorable night for the Blaugranas, Lionel Messi and company marched onto the latter stages of the knockouts demolishing Leverkusen. Interestingly Messi ended the night with a left-footed curler as the young Argentine guided the Catalans to another triumph in Europe.
THRASHING THE RED DEVILS
Throughout his remarkable tenure, Lionel Messi has produced several spectacular goals. But his goal in the 2009 Champions League final in Italy against one of the toughest outfits in Europe will go down as the best in history.
Lionel Messi has had his say on what he thinks his best goal is…
"The one in Rome in the Champions League final against Manchester United." 🤩pic.twitter.com/9DLuDV6Psn
— GOAL (@goal) October 9, 2019
Lionel Messi floated Xavi’s jaw-dropping cross over Edwin Van der Sar’s frantic leap as if suspended in mid-air. There was no chance Lionel Messi, a small Argentinian, could have beaten two powerful and tall adversaries in an aerial battle, yet he accomplished it.
4TH BALLON D’OR IN THE BAG
Lionel Messi was one of the finest athletes in the world from 2009 to 2012, earning the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy four times in a row. In 2012, Lionel Messi achieved his four-peat as Ballon d’Or winner, netting a remarkable 91 strikes for Argentina and Barcelona in all tournaments;
On this day, 8 years ago, Lionel Messi won his 4th consecutive Ballon d'Or. 🥇🥇🥇🥇 pic.twitter.com/50xcp21RQJ
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) January 7, 2021
However, his team had only the Copa Del Rey to exhibit for his achievements in that campaign.
TOP GOAL-SCORER AND THE TOP-ASSIST CREATOR
Despite having a disappointing year by his towering expectations, Lionel Messi followed in the footsteps of his old colleague Thierry Henry to remain the only two footballers in the twentieth century to strike and create 20 goals in a single year in the first division.
Lionel Messi’s 21 assists that year also allowed him to eclipse Xavi’s milestone for the most assists in Spain’s top-flight in a single campaign. Another campaign filled with record-breaking numbers, Barcelona did end trophyless but Lionel Messi’s individual cabinet had one or two glittering additions that summer.
BREAKING PELE’S RECORD
After a shaky beginning to the 2020-21 campaign, Lionel Messi overtook Pele’s milestone for most strikes by an individual footballer for a particular team by netting a career-high 650th goal in the Catalans outfit.
Lionel Messi scores his 644th goal for Barcelona, breaking Pelé's record for the most goals for a single club 👏 pic.twitter.com/IkOd2bpIzl
— ESPN (@espn) December 22, 2020
Lionel Messi reached the milestone with a magnificent free-kick versus Athletic Bilbao, breaking the silence against a determined Spanish army as the Catalans triumphed 2-1. The milestone was achieved against the background of Lionel Messi’s massive €550 million deal with the Blaugranas being leaked.
In 2019, Messi set a new record by winning a record-breaking 6th Ballon d’Or title in Paris, defeating old nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s rock-solid centre-back Van Dijk. The trophy capped off a memorable campaign for the attacker, who captured the Spanish title, claimed the European Golden Shoe, and scored the most goals in Europe’s greatest carnival (12), among other accolades.
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@francefootball) December 2, 2019
Messi became the first individual to collect the award for the sixth time breaking the ties with Ronaldo who has captured the title 5 times.
MESSI’S LAST TROPHY WITH THE CATALANS
Barcelona has registered a few dark chapters in its rich heritage in recent times. Lionel Messi and company failed to win the Spanish title while the European crown also evaded the king. But after a trophyless season two years ago, the talismanic forward guided the Catalans into a Copa Del Rey showdown with Athletic Bilbao. A glittering evening was shrouded by one of the most iconic performances by Lionel Messi.
With a magnificent rondo goal that left the world in shock, combined with one assist, Lionel Messi turned up to the game in some style. The Man of the Match of last year’s final guided the Catalans to their 31st Copa Del Rey as Messi ended their silverware drought by adding to the list of iconic performances for Barcelona.
MESSI VS REAL MADRID
Messi battered Mourinho’s Los Blancos in the 2010/11 Champions League semi-finals, netting a spectacular individual finish while the rest of the planet watched in awe. The Argentine broke the deadlock in the 76th minute in a vital 2-0 triumph at Bernabeu, his second goal of the evening cemented his place in European soccer’s history.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 27, 2020
He grabbed the football from Sergio Busquets a few steps in front of the half-line, surpassing defender after defender as he slid into the centre to suavely shoot beyond Iker Casillas who didn’t have an answer to the iconic finish. Game. Set. and Match, one of the most iconic performances by Lionel Messi guided Barcelona to the Champions League final in the perfect style.
THE BEGINNING OF A RAMPAGE
Messi grabbed his maiden professional goal for Barça in May of 2005, kicking off a lifelong goal-scoring rampage that has since totalled over 700 goals. The youngster, who sported the number 30 jersey, Messi made no miscalculation in guaranteeing he bagged his first of many goals for Barcelona after being denied once previously.
Lionel Messi's first goal was something special ✨
— GOAL (@goal) June 24, 2020
A quick one-two with legend Ronaldinho, the Brazilian scooped the ball for Messi as the teenager chipped home quite comfortably. It was evident that the Catalans had a unique prospect at their disposal as he embraced his Brazilian tutor in front of an ecstatic Camp Nou.
DEMOLITION OF THE GUNNERS
Turning the clock back to 2010, Messi spearheaded a thrashing of Arsene Wenger’s Gunners in Europe, earning him a remarkable ‘perfect 10’ grade from French soccer analysts L’Equipe.
🔟 years ago today…
⚽️ 21' Messi
⚽️ 37' Messi
⚽️ 42' Messi
⚽️ 88' Messi
🎬 The Lionel Messi show, ft. Arsenalpic.twitter.com/yYU9EdJaHo
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 6, 2020
He racked up one of the best solo displays in the competition’s history as the Catalans strolled to a 4-1 triumph at Camp Nou. The Argentine started the slaughter for Barcelona with one of the greatest goals of the summer, a powerful rocket past Manuel Almunia to start a fantastic treble.
THE GOAL AGAINST BILBAO
Messi’s breakaway strike versus Los Blancos may not have been his greatest of the career. He produced a strike that earned him a FIFA Puskas Award nomination in the 2015 Copa del Rey final versus Athletic Bilbao. In the first half, Messi recovered the football on the right side in a somewhat safe location.
📅 May 30, 2015
Lionel Messi v Athletic Bilbao, Copa del Rey final.
— GOAL (@goal) June 24, 2020
The No.10 got through the five or six Bilbao defenders, darted behind, and hammered a powerful shot into the bottom corner. Bilbao’s defence had no answers to Messi wriggling past them. They were merely defeated by a magical moment.
THE BETIS SPECTATORS APPLAUD MESSI
Not every day you would witness the rival fans applauding an opposition. With the Spanish fans regarded as ruthless, rivals rarely expect applause. But Lionel Messi can make you do anything. Messi opened the scoring with a wonderful set-piece, added a second shortly before the first-half interval, and claimed the match ball with a stunning chip over Pau Lopez in a strike shortlisted for the 2019 Puskas Prize.
Astonishing sight. After Lionel Messi nets a hat trick and eviscerates their own team, Real Betis fans give him a standing ovation. Messi’s brilliance transcends supporter divides. A divine figure who walks amongst us 🙌 https://t.co/uTEUzwRiIr
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) March 17, 2019
Real Betis’ supporters realised they were witnessing a prodigy and erupted in applause for Messi who was busy weaving one of the most iconic performances for Barcelona. They even participated in the screaming of his moniker by Barcelona supporters.
THE FREE-KICK AGAINST LIVERPOOL
In 2019, Alisson Becker was perhaps one of the finest stoppers on the planet, but he couldn’t stop Messi’s spectacular 30-yard rocket at Camp Nou when Liverpool and Barcelona locked horns. Messi looked to have secured the contest with a brilliant set-piece that eluded Alisson’s hands with Barcelona dominating the Reds 2-0 in the initial game of their Champions League semi-final encounter.
🎉 Congratulations, Messi! 🎉
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 9, 2019
Despite the team’s failure in the reverse fixture, it was a remarkable method to celebrate his 600th goal for the Catalans as the stadium erupted after Messi’s masterclass. The iconic free-kick was also voted as UEFA Champions League’s Goal Of the Tournament.
BYE! BYE! BOATENG AND BAYERN
Lionel Messi yet again demonstrated his brilliance with a spectacular double against Bayern Munich on his way to helping Barcelona to their 5th European triumph in 2015. At the 70th minute of the first leg of their semifinal match at Camp Nou, the score was 0-0.
Leo’s miraculous influence continued as he broke the stalemate with a stunning shot just a few metres away from the box that surprised one of the best in the business, Manuel Neuer. But what happened next was unimaginable.
OMG!!! That's was just unbelievable.
MESSI… you just can't stop him and we are very lucky to enjoy this kind of games. #itsmorethanagame
— Luis Garcia (@luchogarcia14) May 6, 2015
The talisman darted towards centre-back Jerome Boateng turning inside and outside, as the German fell on the floor before chipping it over Neuer to seal the victory and net one of the most iconic goals of the Champions League. A glittering night and Messi adding to his list of iconic performances surely go hand in hand.
Barcelona required a magical performance to overcome Diego Simeone’s RojiBlancos in 2012, and Messi provided it. In the 81st minute, he struck a spectacular free-kick from an unbelievable distance to give the Catalans a 2-1 victory. Messi went up and floated the ball up and over as he surprised Thibaut Courtois while the wall was still getting prepared.
The defenders from Atleti appealed to the official, but their concerns went unheard. From such a position, Messi had zero chances but that doesn’t stop him from producing one of the most iconic performances.
A COMEBACK FOR THE AGES
Despite the modest hopes, they got off to a flying launch as Luis Suarez scored quite early, giving them a 2-0 advantage at the interval. Messi converted from the spot to cut the deficit as Cavani’s goal dented their hopes.
However, in the last seconds, Barcelona managed to scrape off a turnaround, with Sergi Roberto thumping the ball into the net as the Catalans marched into the next phase. The famous remontada would surely be remembered for ages and would earn a chapter in Barcelona’s history.
MILAN IS IN SHOCK!
Barcelona was required to come back from a 2-0 hole against AC Milan to enter the Champions League quarter-finals in 2012/13, and Messi produced one of the most iconic performances. In the opening minutes, he struck Barcelona’s opening goal with a beautiful effort from the edge of the box into the roof of the net. The score came after a beautiful, precise move by the Spanish team.
🧙♂️ Magical Messi vs Milan #OTD in 2013 🗓️
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 12, 2020
With a beautiful strike from outside the goal mouth on the stroke of half-time Messi made it 2-0. The talismanic forward was involved in Jordi Alba’s late winner, which clinched a 4-0 triumph and as Messi capped a strong and iconic performance.
LA LIGA’S BEST PLAYER
Messi has garnered a slew of personal honours throughout the course of his tenure and will continue to do so as long as he plays professionally. Among the honours is the title of La Liga’s Best Player.
As a combination of Barcelona capturing four Spanish crowns and Messi emerging as La Liga’s highest goalscorer in successive years between 2015 and 2019, Messi collected the league’s Greatest Player accolade in four of those five campaigns. His outstanding individual accomplishments also contributed to him receiving this honour.
‘MSN’ CONQUER EUROPE
The trio of Messi, Neymar, and Suarez created havoc in La Liga and all across Europe. The three veterans destroyed teams and if even one had an off-day, the other two would lift Barcelona towards the podium. In 2015, Barcelona faced Juventus in the ultimate European showdown.
MSN scored 364 goals across all competitions in their three seasons together.
Now one of football’s most iconic trios has completely split up. 😭 pic.twitter.com/ra4p7oa7IN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 23, 2020
They had defeated the English champions, the French champions, and the German champions on their course to the final and were up against the Italian champions. And although Neymar’s brace secured the deal for Barcelona, Messi’s instrumental role in creating opportunities went unnoticed as he secured the Catalans their 5th UCL trophy.
EASY WORK FOR MESSI AND COMPANY!
The La Liga game against Valladolid was considered a cakewalk but Messi was instrumental in producing one of the most iconic performances in a Barcelona shirt.
Messi’s performance elevated a straightforward victory for Ernesto Valverde to a higher dimension. The attacker provided two wonderful assists and two goals of his own, including a 50th free-kick into the roof of the net that sent Barça to the summit of La Liga. The goal-scoring carnival produced by Lionel Messi puts this game into the category of Messi’s iconic matches.