Messi scores 800th goal in win over Panama
Lionel Messi scored his 800th career goal for club and country in Argentina’s 2-0 friendly win over Panama in Buenos Aires on Thursday night.
After twice hitting the post from free kicks, Messi curled his third try past Panama keeper Jose Carlos Guerra in the 89th minute to hit the 800 goal mark and send the sold-out crowd at Monumental Stadium into delirium.
The Argentine superstar came into the game needing just one goal to reach the milestone after scoring his 799th goal in PSG’s Ligue 1 win over Nantes on Saturday.
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Messi hits the mark shortly after being named Best FIFA Men’s Player having led Argentina to the 2022 World Cup title in Qatar. He also celebrated scoring his 700th career club goal last month.
It was Argentina’s first match since beating France in Qatar last December and the team was roared on by the home supporters. The full squad from Qatar attended the match and took pictures in front of the World Cup replica trophy before kickoff, while Messi, manager Lionel Scaloni and others brought their families to the stadium.
According to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), Messi is just the second man ever to reach the 800 career-goal landmark, after Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese star, 38, scored his 800th goal in December 2021.
However, there is some dispute between other sources due to historical inconsistencies in the classification of “official” goals scored in “official” competitions. Brazilian great Pele claims to have scored more than 1,000 goals during his career.
Messi, 35, spent the first 17 years of his senior career with boyhood club Barcelona, where he went on to score an incredible club-record 672 goals in 778 appearances.
His 474 LaLiga goals remains a record for Spain’s top division.
Since leaving Barcelona due to the club’s financial problems and joining PSG in the summer of 2021, Messi has scored 30 goals for the French champions.
The Rosario native has scored a further 98 goals internationally for Argentina, including seven goals in Qatar as he lifted the World Cup for the first time.
He has been named FIFA’s best men’s player a record seven times.