Lionel Messi turns 30: A look at the Argentine maestro’s best goals
As Lionel Messi turns 30 on Saturday, here is a look at some of his finest goals.football Updated: Jun 24, 2017 21:17 IST
Messi turns 30 on Saturday. In a glittering career, the Argentine has won almost all there is to win with Barcelona. He has won the UEFA Champions League four times and the La Liga as many as eight times. Messi has won the Copa del Ray five times, the Spanish Super Cup seven times, the FIFA Club World Cup three times and the UEFA Super Cup three times.
In an Argentina shirt though he has come close to glory but somehow not been lucky to cross the final hurdle, especially in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final defeat against Germany.
One of the great footballers ever, Messi is the only player to have won the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player, Pichici Trophy and the Golden Boot in the same season. Messi achieved this feat in the 2009-10 season. Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record five times -- in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. He also holds the record of winning the Ballon d’Or for four consecutive years, from 2009 to 2012.
In March 2014, Messi netted a hat-trick to become the leading scorer for Barcelona with 371 goals, bettering the record of Paulo Alcantara. The same year, he signed a whopping €20 million annual contract with the Spanish club.
Even experts would have hardly expected the diminutive Argentie to touch such heights in the game. Messi took to the game at a very young age, but growth deficiency required costly treatment, which his family could not afford for long. However, Barca took him on at the age of 13, and also footed the medical bill. It was worth it. Four years on, Messi became the youngest ever goal-scorer for Barcelona.
In the 2014-15 season, Messi beat the likes of Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the UEFA Best Player in Europe award. The same season, he helped Barcelona win the Champions League, Copa del Ray and La Liga.
In El Clasico clashes between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Messi has scored 23 goals, five more than Real’s Argentine legend, Alfredo di Stefano. Overall for Barcelona, Messi has scored more than 530 goals. In terms of hat-tricks, Messi has 37.
Messi is also Argentina’s record scorer and is the only player to have scored against every South American nation. He is also the youngest from South America to play 100 internationals.
Let’s take a look at the top five goals from the video:
5. Against Real Madrid, Messi converted a free kick by curling the ball past the goalkeeper. This was perfection at its best as Messi hit it over the ‘wall’ while the defence leapt in vain. The ball curled in to find the net.
4. Collecting the ball from the left, Messi raced ahead, shielding the ball from the chasing defenders and dodging challenges on the way. Into the Malaga penalty box, he calmly beat the onrushing goalkeeper, slotting the ball into the right corner.
3. A free-kick against Atletico Madrid left everyone stupefied as he put the ball right into the top right corner. The goalkeeper could only throw up his hands in despair.
2. Against Sevilla, the master beat the defence that was getting around him in the penalty box and the goalkeeper who had come forward to block. It was Messi magic at his best as he calmly lobbed the ball into the goal.
1. Messi made light of whatever Brazil had in the name of defence, exploiting the huge space left to race on from the right. He beat the goalkeeper hands down by smashing the ball from outside the box.