Messi's top 10: The Barcelona great's finest club goals

By Sports Desk May 01, 2020

It took a pandemic to stop the goals flowing from Lionel Messi, the brilliant Argentinian who first found the back of the net for Barcelona on May 1, 2005.

Fifteen years since that first strike, Messi has ploughed through the 600-goal mark for the Catalan giants, coincidentally reaching that landmark on May 1, 2019.

He was spending May 1 at home this year, along with every other footballer in LaLiga, which has been paused since March due to the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

To watch Messi in his pomp and assess the pick of his goals for Barcelona is a pick-me-up for any dark day, and here is a look at a chronological top 10 from the Argentinian's collection.

Albacete (H): May 1, 2005

Even at 17, Messi had the confidence of a veteran. Having already seen one goal wrongly ruled out for offside - an audacious chip from the edge of the box - Messi's confidence was far from knocked and just a minute later he latched onto Ronaldinho's scooped pass before lobbing the ball over Albacete goalkeeper Raul Valbuena from 16 yards. Some way to open your account for one of Europe's great clubs.

Malaga (H): March 22, 2009

Thierry Henry's favourite goal by Messi during their time playing together for Barca. Why not let the France great take up the story? "It defied logic what he did," Henry said in the 'Take the Ball, Pass the Ball' documentary. "There's a diagonal ball and he controls it on his chest. He runs full speed, then the first player goes and the second player is just behind. If he takes another step, that player will clear the ball." A shimmy of the body and deft touch later – in the blink of an eye – Messi stabbed into the top corner to conclude a moment of 100-miles-per-hour brilliance.

Real Zaragoza (A): March 21, 2010

Described by some as 'a defining goal' in his career, this strike against Real Zaragoza seemed to take him from very good into another class entirely. Messi displayed all he had to offer in a goal that began when he won the ball from a tackle on halfway. From there, he shrugged off one challenge, raced towards the box and turned a defender inside out before drilling into the far corner, leaving coach Pep Guardiola speechless.

Real Madrid (A): April 27, 2011

At the height of the Clasico rivalry between Guardiola's Barca and Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid, the two teams met four times in three different competitions in less than a month. The league meeting ended in a draw and Madrid won the Copa del Rey final, but Barca triumphed in the Champions League semi-final with a 3-1 aggregate win. The first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, an ill-tempered affair to say the least, saw Messi make it 2-0 by bursting beyond four attempted challenges and slotting past Iker Casillas, all in the space of around five seconds.

Athletic Bilbao (A): April 27, 2013

Barca would regain their LaLiga title from Real Madrid but were in the midst of a Champions League semi-final shellacking from Bayern Munich when they arrived at San Mames. A goal down in a match that would eventually finish 2-2, Messi received possession from Thiago Alcantara, twisted past Mikel San Jose, Carlos Gurpegui and Ander Herrera with minimal space in which to operate before nonchalantly sidefooting home from just inside the penalty area.

Bayern Munich (H): May 6, 2015

Guardiola returned to Camp Nou with a Bayern Munich side struggling with injury problems. They kept Barca at bay until the 77th minute of this Champions League semi-final first leg, when Messi finally struck. It was his second goal that earns a place in this list, though: collecting Ivan Rakitic's pass, a simple-looking shimmy left Jerome Boateng on his backside before he chipped Manuel Neuer with his weaker foot.

Real Madrid (A): April 23, 2017

El Clasico rarely disappoints for football fans around the globe, and this edition was no different. Anything but a win would essentially hand Real Madrid the title, and it looked to be headed for a 2-2 draw until Sergi Roberto's swashbuckling run in stoppage time gave Jordi Alba the chance to square to Messi, who finished with aplomb from the edge of the area for his 500th Barcelona goal.

Real Betis (A): March 17, 2019

Rarely has a hat-trick been completed in finer fashion. Messi's two goals had helped Barca to a 3-1 lead at the Benito Villamarin, before he passed to Rakitic, ran onto the return ball and sent a first-time chip over goalkeeper Pau Lopez and in off the crossbar from just inside the box. It was a sublime effort that even had the home fans on the feet, applauding - something Messi himself admitted he has not experienced before.

Liverpool (H): May 1, 2019

Over the past few years, Messi has mastered the art of free-kick taking, with the skill being one of few to elude him in his younger days. Liverpool held their own for long periods at Camp Nou but goals from Luis Suarez and Messi gave the hosts breathing space. Jurgen Klopp's side then had to bow to greatness when, after being brought down by Fabinho, Barca's talisman swept an unstoppable 30-yard effort into the top corner. Barcelona would incredibly blow their 3-0 first-leg advantage, however, losing 4-0 at Anfield as Liverpool reached the Champions League final.

Atletico Madrid (A): December 1, 2019

It was goalless in the 86th minute at the Wanda Metropolitano when Messi collected the ball on the right flank, 10 yards inside the Atletico half. Those famous feet began to shuffle with purpose, and although Atletico knew what Messi had in mind, they were powerless to resist the execution of his plan. Messi surged on, playing the ball to Luis Suarez on the edge of the penalty area before taking the return pass and cracking a brilliant 20-yard shot into the bottom left corner of Jan Oblak's goal. A winner, and one of the highest class.

Related items

  • Barca want revenge after Champions League humiliation – Pjanic Barca want revenge after Champions League humiliation – Pjanic

    Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic said the LaLiga giants want revenge this season following their Champions League embarrassment.

    An 8-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals capped a forgettable and trophy-less 2019-20 campaign for Barca.

    Barca were also dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga, prompting the embattled Catalan powerhouse to sack head coach Quique Setien and appoint Ronald Koeman.

    Superstar captain and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi also handed in a transfer request before opting to stay at Camp Nou.

    Now preparing for Sunday's season opener against Villarreal, recruit Pjanic told Sport: "This team wants to take revenge for what happened in Lisbon and show that it was a huge accident.

    "Our goal is to go step by step: starting with the league, which will not be easy. And in the Champions League, there will be five or six candidates to win the trophy.

    "Starting in March, a new season will begin within the season itself, with the knockout stages of the Champions League and the decisive stretch of the league championship; that's where we have to be at full throttle.

    "These players have already earned the respect of the football world and I don't think they have to prove anything to anyone. But in football there are accidents, and I don't think there is a Barca player who doesn't want to show that 8-2 was just that, an accident.

    "I do not have any doubt. I have spoken with some of them and they have not lost an ounce of self-confidence. Last year was not easy for anyone, but I am sure that this year we will have a good season, because we have good players.

    "Nothing is easy in today's game. We know that Barca is undergoing changes, perhaps the newcomers will need some time to adapt, but we will succeed."

    Pjanic swapped Serie A champions Juventus for Barca as Arthur moved in the opposite direction and the Bosnia-Herzegovina star added: "It is never a bad moment to come to Barca. Barca are a team designed to win everything. It may be that last year was not a good season and that it ended badly.

    "Things did not turn out as they had imagined, but think about all the teams that each year are built to win, and logically not all of them can win. It is not easy to win titles.

    "It was a strange season for everyone, with the coronavirus: we were unemployed for several months, then we had to start almost suddenly, with a strange calendar and no fans at the grounds."

  • Lyon president Aulas names Arsenal while addressing Aouar future Lyon president Aulas names Arsenal while addressing Aouar future

    Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas named Arsenal while discussing the future of in-demand star midfielder Houssem Aouar.

    Aouar has been linked with Premier League outfit Arsenal, as well as Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea following Lyon's memorable run to the 2019-20 Champions League semi-final.

    Lyon value Aouar at €60million (£55m) and are refusing to lower their demands as Mikel Arteta's Arsenal struggle to raise the necessary funds.

    Asked if Aouar could remain at the Ligue 1 club, Aulas told Le Progres: "Financially, Arsenal are like everyone else [in a tricky spot amid the coronavirus pandemic].

    "And Houssem could say to himself that the best thing would be to stay with us."

    Lyon captain Memphis Depay has also been linked with Barcelona and Milan, while Moussa Dembele continues to attract interest from across Europe.

    "From the start I said that we would not lose the three players announced every day in the newspapers," Aulas said.

    "Ten days before the end of the transfer window, none of the three have gone. And I don't imagine that will happen. If one or two leave, they will be replaced."

    Lyon have endured a difficult start to the 2020-21 season, winning just one of their opening four matches to sit 12th in the standings.

    But amid doubts emerging over head coach Rudi Garcia's future, Aulas insisted: "Rudi is with us. He has been cited as one of the best 10 managers in Europe. News gets invented, it is sad.

    "We are not going to respond to such nuisances. Rudi Garcia is and will be our manager, that is clear. And we are going to have a great team."

  • Sometimes football writes these stories – Flick delighted for Bayern's match-winner Martinez Sometimes football writes these stories – Flick delighted for Bayern's match-winner Martinez

    Hansi Flick thought it was fitting that Javi Martinez was Bayern Munich's unlikely Super Cup hero just a day after he was reported to be re-joining Athletic Bilbao.

    Martinez came off the bench in extra time of Thursday's Super Cup against Sevilla in Budapest and five minutes later he headed in the winner in a 2-1 victory that earned Flick's treble-winning side yet more silverware.

    It was Martinez's first goal since April 2019 and it may be the last of his eight-year Bayern career as rumours of a return to LaLiga outfit Athletic persist.

    The 32-year-old is in the final year of his Bayern deal, and reports suggest the Bundesliga and Champions League holders want a transfer fee for the midfielder despite Athletic's wish to bring him back to Spain on a free transfer.

    "Javi scored the goal and won us the game. Sometimes football writes these stories – this is a beautiful one," head coach Flick told Sky.

    "On Wednesday there were reports that he was in Bilbao, yet tonight he scored the winning goal."

    Martinez also came off the bench to score an extra-time goal in Bayern's previous Super Cup triumph seven years earlier, when they beat Chelsea on penalties.

    This time they triumphed inside 120 minutes, having fallen behind to Lucas Ocampos' penalty before Leon Goretzka levelled prior to half-time.

    It may not have been as comprehensive as their season-opening 8-0 win over Schalke in the Bundesliga last week, but Flick was nevertheless pleased with his team's staying power.

    "It took the first 15 minutes for us to get into the game," Flick said.

    "It was great for me to see the team try to pull through with their mentality – and succeed. In the end, my players went through the pain barrier to win."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.