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Messi Breaks Barca Scoring Record
ESPN FC, March 17th, 2014 3:04PM

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TAGS:  barcelona, lionel messi, real madrid, spain

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With his hat trick on Sunday, Lionel Messi further cemented his place in history at Barcelona by surpassing the club’s 87-year-old record for total goals scored by a single player. The previous record belonged to Philippines-born Paulino Alcantara, who notched 142 official goals and 227 strikes in friendlies during an era before the Spanish league had been officially established. By contrast, Messi has now scored 344 goals in official matches for Barcelona and 27 in friendlies in less than nine years as a first-team player. He is still just 26.

Following Barca’s 7-0 thrashing of Osasuna at the Camp Nou, Messi spoke to Catalan TV station TV3 about the record. “I had heard everywhere that I was closing in on [Alcantara],” he said. “When you see you are close you want to do it, for what it means in the history of a club this big. A lot of years have passed since it was reached. Many more years will pass before it is overcome again.”

As usual, the Argentine pointed to the team effort during the interview, saying that the most important thing is that Barca keeps on winning. He also noted that his injury problems now seem fully behind him. “I feel good, in the last two weeks each time I feel better, I hope I can keep going like this,” Messi said. “The injury is passed now and forgotten, I am picking up rhythm and confidence.” He also moved to quash any rumors that he could leave the club this summer. “As long as the people want I will stay here. My intention is to retire with this Barca jersey. I am happy here.”

As long as he stays fit, Messi will continue to break records. Next up for him could be the mark for goals scored against rival Real Madrid, as he is one shy of Real legend Alfredo Di Stefano [19] in goals scored in ‘clasicos’. He is also just four goals shy of besting Real legend Raul Gonzalez in goals scored in the UEFA Champions League [67].

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