Lionel Messi became the top goalscorer of all time in Europe’s five biggest leagues after netting a penalty in Barcelona’s 1-0 win against Real Sociedad on Saturday.
The Argentinean’s 81st minute spot-kick was amazingly his 438th goal in his 474th game in La Liga, which means he pips his rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 437 times in 540 games for Manchester United , Real Madrid and Juventus .
The continent’s top five leagues are considered to be England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1.
Ronaldo and Messi have been by far the most prolific scorers in Europe of all time, and regularly compete with each other for individual honours, with Messi winning six Ballon d’Ors and Ronaldo victorious on five occasions.
It remains to be seen who retires with more goals, but Messi arguably has the edge, with Ronaldo three years older than the Barcelona legend and thus more likely to retire first.
Barcelona were not at their best against Sociedad but still managed to claim the three points and move to the La Liga summit, although Madrid will overtake them again if they can beat Real Betis tonight.
Messi could have added more than his solitary penalty, but he uncharacteristically missed two big opportunities in the first-half and also blazed over from inside the six-yard box mid-way through the second period. Nevertheless, he has scored seven goals and created six assists in his last nine matches despite arguably not playing at his best, and will need to continue adding to that tally if Barcelona are to have a strong end to the season.
Quique Setien’s side are next in action against Mallorca on Saturday before their crucial Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli, with the first leg finishing 1-1 in Italy