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 hitting the post twice from free-kicks, Messi rolled his third try past Panama keeper Jose Carlos Guerra in the 89th minute to reach the 800-goal mark and send the sold-out crowd at the Monumental stadium crazy .
The Argentinian 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 FIFA’s Best Men’s Player after leading Argentina to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He also celebrated his 700th club goal of his career last month.
It was Argentina’s first game since beating France in Qatar last December and the team cheered on the home fans. The entire Qatar team attended the match and took photos in front of the World Cup replica before kick-off, while Messi, coach Lionel Scaloni and others brought their families to the stadium.
According to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), Messi is only the second man, after Cristiano Ronaldo, to ever reach 800 career goals.
The 38-year-old Portuguese star scored his 800th goal in December 2021.
However, there is some dispute between other sources due to historical inconsistencies in classifying “official” goals scored in “official” competitions. The great Brazilian Pele claims to have scored more than 1,000 goals in his career.
Messi, 35, spent the first 17 years of his senior career at youth club Barcelona, where he scored an incredible club record 672 goals in 778 games.
His 474 LaLiga goals remain a record for Spain’s top flight.
Since leaving Barcelona due to the club’s financial woes and joining PSG in the summer of 2021, Messi has scored 30 goals for the French champions.
Born in Rosario, he has scored another 98 international goals for Argentina, including seven goals in Qatar as he won the World Cup for the first time.
He has been named FIFA’s Best Player seven times.
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