Former Argentina and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi.

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Madrid:

Fact box on Argentine forward Lionel Messi, who left Barcelona on Thursday after his contract expired in late June.

Messi, who joined Barca’s youth at the age of 13, has spent his entire professional career at the club and is the all-time top scorer and appearance maker with 672 goals in 778 games in all competitions.

Born: 24 June 1987 in Rosario, Argentina.

Career to date.

* Joined Barcelona in 2000 at the age of 13 and shone in the youth ranks before coach Frank Riccard made his senior debut in a friendly against Porto in 2003 at the age of 16.

* Launched his La Liga in October 2004 and scored his first league goal the following May against Al Bassett at Camp Nou.

* Scored six goals in 17 appearances in 2005-06 as Barca won La Liga for the second year in a row but was not prominent in their 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Champions League final.

* Played a key role as Barca won six trophies in the 2009 calendar year, including the Champions League, La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Club World Cup.

* Won four consecutive Ballon d’Ors and awards.

* Won La Liga again in 2010 and retained the Ballon d’Or award, beating Spain’s World Cup winners and Barca teammates Andres Iniesta and Zavi.

* Motivated Barcelona to a 3-1 win over Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final, scoring one goal and scoring the other.

* Helped Barساa win their third consecutive La Liga title in 2010-11 and was on the score sheet as they beat Santos 4-0 to win the Club World Cup.

* While Barca failed to retain La Liga or the Champions League, Messi surpassed Cesar Rodriguez as Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer and ended 2012 with an extraordinary total of 91 goals in all competitions. This is a calendar year record.

* Breaks La Liga scoring record with 50 goals in one season in 2011-12.

* Former Real Madrid and Schalke 04 forward Rawls equaled the record of 71 goals set in the Champions League when he scored twice against Ajax Amsterdam in late 2014.

* 2014-15 turned into a series of spectacular performances as Barca won a historic second trip, Messi winning his fifth Ballon d’Or and award after becoming the all-time top scorer in La Liga.

* Won domestic doubles in 2015-16 and 2017-18.

* Following the departure of Andres Iniesta in May 2018, Messi was named captain of Barcelona for the next season and led him to the league title, but Liverpool eliminated the club in the Champions League semi-finals.

* Won the record sixth Ballon d’Or in September 2019.

* Tried to leave Barcelona in August 2020, formally requested exit after a breakdown in his relationship with then-President Josep Maria Bartomeu, but Johnson Laporta, who presided over Argentina’s rise to prominence, refused to stay. Agreed

* Surpassed Pele’s record at Santos with his 644th goal for Barcelona against Real Valladolid in La Liga in December 2020.

* In their last season at the club, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey but finished third in the league and were knocked out by Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League.

* The club scored 672 goals in 778 games and won 35 trophies at the club, including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.





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