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Lionel Messi has scored some astonishing Barcelona goals – but which make the top 10? 

Lionel Messi’s 21-year association with Barcelona is at an end after the club announced that they were unable to offer one of their greatest ever players a new contract due to the club’s dire financial situation. 

The Argentine magician joined Barca from Newell’s Old Boys in 2000 and after making an eye-catching first appearance at the age of 16 against Jose Mourinho’s Porto in a friendly in November 2003, the bewitching dribbler never looked back. 

He made his competitive first-team debut under Frank Rijkaard the following season in a derby at Espanyol in October 2004 aged 17 years, three months and 22 days, the youngest player to ever appear for the Blaugrana at the time. 

Lionel Messi will no longer be a Barcelona player as the club cannot afford to re-sign him

The Argentine has scored some magical goals over the years - but which is the best?

The Argentine has scored some magical goals over the years – but which is the best?

Messi then become the club’s youngest-ever goalscorer fewer than seven months later when he netted against Albacete and in 2006-07, while still a teenager, he bagged double figures for goals in a single season for the first time, netting 17 in total across all club competitions and 14 in LaLiga. 

Messi’s numbers started to become otherworldly, peaking with a stupendous 50 goals in 37 LaLiga games in 2011-12 and 73 for the Spanish giants overall that campaign.

In total, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner scored 672 goals in 778 games during his time at the Nou Camp and made the jaw-dropping seem effortless time and time again. Here are 10 of the best goals he has scored down the years…

Messi's last goal for the club was a header against Celta Vigo in a 2-1 home defeat in May

Messi’s last goal for the club was a header against Celta Vigo in a 2-1 home defeat in May

And his first came all the way back in May 2005 against Albacete following a Ronaldinho assist

And his first came all the way back in May 2005 against Albacete following a Ronaldinho assist

10) Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool, May 1, 2019

This Champions League semi-final is famous for what happened in the second leg as Liverpool mounted a famous comeback to overhaul a three-goal deficit at Anfield and ultimately go on to win a sixth European Cup.

However, before we were witnessed that madness, Messi had the Nou Camp crowd roaring their approval with a strike that many thought had ended the contest. 

Lining up the free kick, he spotted Alisson over to his left-hand side and capitalised brilliantly, curling a 30-yard effort past the desperate dive of the Brazilian into the postage time for his 600th senior strike. 

Messi's mesmeric free kick had Alisson grasping at thin air as Barcelona made it 3-0 at home

Messi’s mesmeric free kick had Alisson grasping at thin air as Barcelona made it 3-0 at home

9) Athletic Bilbao 0-4 Barcelona, April 17, 2021

A weak after losing El Clasico 2-1 to put a severe dent in their title aspirations, Ronald Koeman’s bruised charges travelled to Seville for the Copa del Rey final in the hope of writing some wrongs. 

They did that in style, with Messi’s first and Barca’s third the highlight in a ruthless second-half display. 

After exchanging passes with Sergino Dest inside his own half, Messi scampered off down the right into Athletic Bilbao territory. 

Peeling off the wing, he then played a couple of dazzlingly quick one-twos with Frenkie de Jong, who slipped the ball into the box for Messi to latch onto the pass, cut inside on his left foot and slide the ball into the far corner. All the goal was missed was fans at La Cartuja. 

Messi applies the finishing touch to a gorgeous individual goal against Athletic Bilbao

Messi applies the finishing touch to a gorgeous individual goal against Athletic Bilbao

Ronald Koeman's men responded emphatically to a bruising Clasico defeat the week before

Ronald Koeman’s men responded emphatically to a bruising Clasico defeat the week before

8) Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan, March 12, 2013  

 Barcelona made Champions League history in this match as the first team to overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit without the help of an away goal. 

The opener that night inevitably came from Messi. After several crisp home passes, Sergio Busquets fizzed the ball into the forward’s feet. 

Messi didn’t need to think twice, playing a lightning-quick one-two before planting the ball past Christian Abbiati before he could even blink. His second that day wasn’t bad either. 

Messi squeezes the ball between Cristian Zapata and Philippe Mexes to put Barcelona ahead

Messi squeezes the ball between Cristian Zapata and Philippe Mexes to put Barcelona ahead

7) Getafe 0-2 Barcelona, January 16, 2014

Barca were already in easy street in this round-of-16 Copa del Rey tie having won the first leg 4-0. 

Gerardo Martino still opted for a formidable starting line-up that night featuring Cesc Fabregas, Neymar and Messi, with the latter scoring both.

His second strike was the highlight as he jogged towards Getafe’s box, wriggled past one challenge, nutmegged a defender and then scooted past him and a team-mate before rounding the onrushing keeper and stroking the ball home from a tight angle. Ridiculous. 

Getafe players look on in shock as Messi dips into his box of tricks to stun the home crowd

Getafe players look on in shock as Messi dips into his box of tricks to stun the home crowd

6) Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United, May 27, 2009

Having won LaLiga for the first time in three years the previous month under Pep Guardiola with a brand of football that had Europe purring, the team faced one of their biggest challenges of the campaign against Premier League and defending European champions Manchester United. 

It was a test they passed with flying colours, but with 20 minutes left of normal time, they only had Samuel Eto’o’s early close-range strike to show for their efforts. 

Step forward Messi with the most un-Messi-like of goals. Spotting the diminutive talisman on his own in the box, Xavi decided to arc over a cross around the 6ft 2in Rio Ferdinand, with his 5ft 7in opponent lurking unmarked to flick a header beyond the reach of Edwin van der Sar to win Barca their third Champions League crown. 

Messi hangs in the air for an age before directing his header past Edwin van der Sar

Messi hangs in the air for an age before directing his header past Edwin van der Sar

The win over Manchester United was the first of two European triumphs under Pep Guardiola

The win over Manchester United was the first of two European triumphs under Pep Guardiola

5) Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich, May 6, 2015

The tone was set for this 5-3 Champions League semi-final aggregate win at the Nou Camp. 

The piece de resistance was Messi’s second, which came on the 80th minute, just three minutes after he had broken the deadlock.

After receiving the ball on the edge of the box from Ivan Rakitic, Messi feinted to shift inside Jerome Boateng before going down the German’s outside, causing the big central defender to fall over before Messi took his time and dinked the ball over Manuel Neuer. 

Messi's deft change of body shape put Jerome Boateng on his backside at the Nou Camp

Messi’s deft change of body shape put Jerome Boateng on his backside at the Nou Camp

The Argentine then steadied himself before lofting the ball impudently over Manuel Neuer

The Argentine then steadied himself before lofting the ball impudently over Manuel Neuer

4) Athletic Bilbao 1-3 Barcelona, May 30, 2015

Messi has inflicted his fair share of pain on Bilbao, with this strike also coming in a Copa del Rey final. 

This was as trademark a goal as you could get from the Rosario-born master, as he opened the scoring on 20 minutes at the Nou Camp.

The Nou Camp had got well used to Messi magic by 2015 - but it didn't make it any less special

The Nou Camp had got well used to Messi magic by 2015 – but it didn’t make it any less special

Messi ducked and dived past several Bilbao challenges before unleashing a near-post ripper

Messi ducked and dived past several Bilbao challenges before unleashing a near-post ripper

After leading a defender a merry dance down the right, he then slalomed between two, staying on his feet after the challenge of another, cutting inside one more and arrowing a shot in at the near post that had visiting goalkeeper Iago Herrerin bewildered. 

Messi went on to score the third following a strike by Neymar, with the side earning Luis Enrique a treble the following weekend after beating Juventus 3-1 in the Champions League final in Munich.  

3) Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona, March 17, 2019    

Messi’s sublime free kick to open the scoring would have been enough to get into most people’s top 10, but it is his hat-trick goal that will really live long in the memory – and had Betis fans giving him a standing ovation. 

After laying the ball off to Rakitic, the Croatian returned the favour, with Messi walking onto the return pass before chipping it incredibly nonchalantly over Pau Lopez and in off the bar.

Part of Messi’s allure is that his pieces of brilliance are often executed so gracefully, he can look thoroughly bored at how easy the game seems. There is no better example than this. 

Messi can sometimes look bored by his own genius - as he did after this chip against Real Betis

Messi can sometimes look bored by his own genius – as he did after this chip against Real Betis

The maestro takes in the adulation - with Real Betis fans applauding after his hat-trick goal

The maestro takes in the adulation – with Real Betis fans applauding after his hat-trick goal

2) Barcelona 5-2 Getafe, April 18, 2007

Arguably the goal that screams ‘Messi’ the most – and the one that catapulted him into the public consciousness.

At just 19, this was the season when Messi properly established himself as an influential force at the Nou Camp.

With Barca 1-0 up, the long-haired thrill seeker slipped the ball inside two defenders before zipping away from the men he had just humiliated. 

Messi after scoring against Getafe - the first truly astonishing goal of many for the Blaugrana

Messi after scoring against Getafe – the first truly astonishing goal of many for the Blaugrana

The teenage prodigy wowed the crowd as he had the entire Getafe rearguard on strings

The teenage prodigy wowed the crowd as he had the entire Getafe rearguard on strings

There were more in his way, but Messi just avoided having his ankles clipped. 

He could have shot then, but instead just chose to take the scenic route around goalkeeper Luis Garcia before straining to scoop his effort over a last-ditch slide on the line. Perfection. 

1) Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona, April 27, 2011

This was the marriage of a great goal’s key ingredients: a big opponent, a massive occasion, huge tension and sumptuous skill. 

To spice things up, the two Clasico games earlier in the campaign had produced a combined total of 19 yellow cards, two penalties and a sending-off for Sergio Ramos after he shoved Carles Puyol in the face following the Spaniard’s crude challenge on Messi late on in a 5-0 demolition job of Real at the Nou Camp. 

Guardiola’s men were gunning for a third straight league title with their bitter rivals – coached by Jose Mourinho – hot on their heels and hoping to end a nine-year wait for Champions League glory. 

El Clasico matches were especially toxic in 2010-11 as Guardiola and Jose Mourinho clashed

El Clasico matches were especially toxic in 2010-11 as Guardiola and Jose Mourinho clashed

The two clubs were involved in a tense title race as well as facing off in the Champions League

The two clubs were involved in a tense title race as well as facing off in the Champions League

Messi's magnetic dribbling ability and balletic balance came to the fore for the perfect goal

Messi’s magnetic dribbling ability and balletic balance came to the fore for the perfect goal

The Bernabeu faithful were ultimately made to sit tight for at least another year as Messi put Barca ahead in the Spanish capital on 76 minutes before producing a dribble that shares legendary status with Diego Maradona’s masterpiece against England.

Receiving possession around 40 yards from goal, Messi popped the ball past Lassana Diarra to Sergio Busquets. 

After what can only be described as the most minimal assist of all time, Messi built up a head of steam and sped past Diarra, Sergio Ramos and the lunging Raul Albiol.

Messi's second goal of the game handed Barca a huge advantage going into the second leg

Messi’s second goal of the game handed Barca a huge advantage going into the second leg

The team then drew 1-1 in Madrid before beating United in another Champions League final

The team then drew 1-1 in Madrid before beating United in another Champions League final

Marcelo was then on Messi’s tail, but by that point he had already got into the box and had Iker Casillas in his sights.

With the Brazilian scared to touch him, Messi stretched every sinew to keep the ball glued to the end of his right foot before guiding it into the far corner as Ramos came careering across.

His team-mates knew they had once again seen brilliance and after a 1-1 draw in the return leg, a second final triumph against Ferguson’s United duly followed, as well as a third straight World Player of the Year gong for one of the greatest players ever.



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