Lionel Messi is 35 years old. Here are some of his records, milestones, and goal-scoring achievements

posted by vicky684 about 2 months ago
Lionel Messi is 35 years old. Here are some of his records, milestones, and goal-scoring achievements

Lionel Messi is 35 years old on Friday, which is his birthday.

Messi is also in the last year of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, though the club has the option of adding another year. This could be a big year for him as he starts to wind down his career.

Even though there is no proof that Messi is thinking about giving up at the highest level, his age and contract situation suggest that 2022-23 might be his last season at a major European club.

So, to celebrate the Barcelona and Argentina legend's big day, we thought we would take a look back at some of the amazing things he is done so far in his career, as well as some of the big milestones he may still reach.

Messi will be at PSG from 2021 to 2022.

Messi moved to PSG on a free transfer in August 2021, after Barcelona could not offer him a new five-year contract because they owed €1.2 billion.

Since he had only played for one club since he was 13, the transfer caused a stir in football. Many wondered if a player of Messi's huge size would be able to adapt to a new environment after spending so many years doing things HIS way at HIS club.

Messi is still in good shape, but he has not been able to match the impressively high output he had at Barcelona. In his first season in Paris, he scored the fewest goals of any season in his entire career.

Messi scored 11 goals in 34 games in all competitions in 2021-22. He averaged 0.345 goals per 90 minutes for his club, which was his lowest return ever and his worst since 2007-08, when he scored 0.43 goals per 90 minutes (16 goals in 40 games) while Barca was plagued by injuries.

Messi, on the other hand, helped out with 15 assists across all competitions, though they were all in Ligue 1. This is about the same as his average number of assists (20 in all competitions) over his nine previous club seasons at Camp Nou.

Messi also added to his huge collection of trophies by winning Ligue 1 in his first season. This was the 35th major club title of his career.

How Messi and Argentina are getting ready for the World Cup in 2022

Messi's next big tournament is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which Argentina qualified for early. With a 0-0 draw against rivals Brazil in November 2021, Argentina mathematically secured their spot at the tournament.

Before the CONMEBOL qualifier against Brazil, Argentina had not lost a single game in 26 tries, a streak that went back more than two years. Since then, they have not lost in six more games into 2022.

Overall, Messi and his teammates have not lost in 33 games. The last time they lost was in July 2019, when Brazil beat them 2-0 to knock them out of the Copa America semifinals. In that time, Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the final of the 2021 Copa America to win their first major international title in 28 years.

Messi has kept up a very high level of output for his country, even though his numbers for PSG have gone down. However, the forward's output for his country has gone up since 2021. In fact, he has been doing better per 90 minutes for Argentina in every category.

Messi has won two major awards with Argentina (2021 Copa America and 2022 Finalissima) in just 1,769 minutes of football, whereas he only won one award with PSG (2021-22 Ligue 1 title) in 5,489 minutes of play last season.

Messi has also done better than himself in goals scored per 90 minutes (0.76 for Argentina and 0.64 for PSG), shots taken (4.6 vs. 4.5), one-on-one dribbles attempted (8.0 vs. 6.1), chances created (2.49 vs. 2.36), and even ball recoveries (3.1 vs. 2.1) and tackles (0.71 vs 0.49).

Messi's teams at club and international levels may use different strategies, which could explain the differences. However, the numbers suggest that Messi gets more touches on the ball and is more effective when shooting, dribbling, making chances, and working off the ball when playing for Argentina.

How well people do after 35

Most professional football players retire in their mid-30s, so it is not surprising that their productivity starts to drop around that time. We all know that Messi is not "most footballers," but since 2010-2011, only a handful of players have been able to contribute to 20 or more goals in a single season after turning 35.

In that time, only six veteran players in Europe's "Big Five" leagues have done this, and most of them did it in Italy's "Serie A."

Three players have scored 20 goals in a single season after turning 35: Luca Toni (2013-14 and 2014-15), Antonio Di Natale (2021-13 and 2014-15), and Messi's old rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 32 goals for Juventus in 2020-21 and 21 goals for Manchester United the next season.

Fabio Quagliarella (34 contributions for Sampdoria in 2018-19), Francesco Totti (24 for Roma in 2012-13), and Burak Yilmaz are the other players who have done it (21 for Lille in 2020-21.)

The documents he still has

Messi is already a part of football history. Since making his debut for Barcelona in October 2004, when he was 18, he has won 38 senior titles.

In that time, only one player, Brazilian right-back Dani Alves, has won more senior competition trophies than Messi, and he happened to play with Messi for most of that time. Alves leads the way with 40 top honors.

The only trophy Messi has not won yet is the FIFA World Cup, which he almost won with Argentina in 2014 but did not because Germany beat them in the final. It is likely that Qatar 2022 will be his last chance to make up for that mistake.

Messi still holds a lot of individual records that are very unlikely to ever be beat.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

— Barcelona has scored the most official goals with 672.

— Barcelona has the most assists for a single club with 268.

— In 2011-12, Barcelona scored the most goals for a single club: 73.

— Only player to ever score 40 or more goals in 12 straight seasons and 30 or more goals in 13 straight seasons.

— Most goals (27), assists (14), and appearances (45) in games against Real Madrid in the El Clasico derby.

— Guinness World Record for most goals scored for club and country in a single calendar year (91 goals in official games in 2012.)

And trust us, this is just the tip of a really huge iceberg.

Messi could still break records and reach milestones

According to records kept by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, both Messi and Ronaldo are close to joining the ridiculously exclusive 500 League Goals club (IFFHS)

Messi has 480 club goals going into the 2022–23 season, which is 17 goals less than Ronaldo. With 497 goals, the 37-year-old Portugal international is within a hat trick of joining the likes of Ferenc Puskas (514 goals), Josef Bican (518 goals), Romario (544 goals), and Pele (604) in the highest ranks of goal scorers.

Messi has scored 787 goals in all official games. He only needs 13 more to join Ronaldo (821 goals) as the only two players in history to score 800 or more goals in official games.

Messi has scored 86 goals for Argentina, but Ronaldo has scored 117 goals for Portugal, which is the men's football world record. Messi still has a ways to go to catch up to his rival. Ali Daei of Iran is the only other male player to score more than 100.

Messi was the second-oldest player to win the Ballon d'Or in 2021, when he was 34 years and 158 days old. He is the all-time leader with seven awards. Ronaldo is his closest competitor on that front (5), just like he is behind Messi in the list of all-time European Golden Shoe winners (6 vs. 4.)

Since Ronaldo is two years older than Messi, it is unlikely that he will be able to catch up to Messi before he retires. But Sir Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or in 1956 when he was 41 years and 320 days old, so maybe there is still time!
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