Hard work, discipline and trusting the process – this is how one gets better in any walk of life. The 29-year-old scored his first goal for the Blaugrana in May 2005, as a 17-year-old against Albacete. Fast forward and what better way to reach the 500 target against your arch rivals on their own fortress, the Bernabeu.
Messi, 29, has scored 343 goals in La Liga, 94 in the Champions League, 43 in the Copa Del Rey, 12 in the Spanish Super Cup, five in the FIFA Club World Cup and three in the European Super Cup. The diminutive Argentine wizard has left his opponents speechless. At a young age of 29, he is only getting better and has adapted to the game.
At the age of 8, he was recruited to join the youth system of Newell’s Old Boys. Being smaller in stature than most of the kids in his age group, Messi was eventually diagnosed by doctors as suffering from a hormone deficiency that restricted his growth. After a costly medical process, Barcelona picked up the wonder kid and paid the bills.
He was always compared to another legend from the land – Maradonna. No biggie, I mean he took a club like Napoli and made them champions. For Messi, milestones are less important. In every game he has given the team he plays for 100% and leaves a little bit of himself on the pitch.
How much has he left in the tank to give this club, the fans and the city? Of course everyone wants to see more goals, new records set, the banter between CR7 and Messi continue for years to come. But this rivalry will only last as long as Messi keeps enjoying what he does and the fans showing the love and appreciation for him.
Does he deserve a statue in front of the stadium? Can he be now welcomed as a local in the Basque region? And finally is he the greatest footballer in the modern times? Plenty of questions yet to be answered, plenty of it will be answered by Lionel himself.
Relive last night’s wonderful match here
Until then, sit back relax, wear your colours and chant for your favourite Argentine – Lionel Messi.