Think there is nothing left for the Argentinian to achieve? Think again! Here’s a selection of milestones that he could reach over the next twelve months
1. Leo Messi, there can be only one.
He’s just 29 years old and yet he’s already done everything there is to do in football. Could there possibly anything left for Leo Messi to achieve? Well, much as that may seem to be the case, there are plenty of things for the Argentinian to aim for in 2017, and we’ve picked out ten of the biggest opportunities for the best to get even better still!
2. 500 official goals for Barça
Messi could make it to 500 goals in official matches for FC Barcelona, a target he has already reached if we also count friendlies. He has currently amassed 476 goals in competitive games, so ‘just’ 24 more where those came from and he’ll have made it half way to a thousand!
3. 100 Champions League goals
Leo Messi could also make it into three figures in the Champions League. His ten goals in the group stage this season have sent his career total flying up to 93, so less than a goal a month would be enough to make it to the magic target of a ton of UCL goals.
4. 600 Barça appearances
If Messi makes it to 600 games for FC Barcelona, that would send him clear of Carles Puyol, who made 593 appearances. The Argentinian ends 2016 on 551, so as long as injuries are kind to him, he should have little trouble making it to third in the all-time list, behind only Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández.
5. Fifth Champions League title
Messi has already won four editions of the Champions League (2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015), and has scored in two finals (Rome 2009 and Wembley 2011). A trip to Cardiff in May could further seal the legend of the greatest player ever to grace the game.
6. Europe’s top scorer for a single team
After surpassing the 473 goals that Eusébio scored for Benfica, Leo Messi (476 for Barça) only has to beat Uwe Seeler (507 goals for Hamburg), Jimmy McGrory (522 with Celtic) and Gerd Müller (525 with Bayern Munich) to become Europe’s highest goalscorer of all time for a single club. All very achievable targets.
7. Score against Las Palmas
Leo Messi has scored against every current top flight team bar one: UD Las Palmas. Barça host the Canary Islanders on January 14 at 4.15pm CET, when he’ll have the chance to set that record straight.
8. 100 goals against foreign teams
The Barça striker has scored 97 goals against non-Spanish teams, so he has every chance of taking that tally into treble figures in 2017. The challenge commences against Paris Saint-Germain on February 18 and March 8.
9. Record for Liga openers
Hugo Sánchez holds the record for scoring the opening goal in the most Liga fixtures (76), and Messi is only five short of matching that target. He’s scored four openers already this season, a number only topped by Ruben Castro, Willian José and Raúl García, who have five each.
10. 400 wins for FC Barcelona
Leo Messi has won 390 games for FC Barcelona, so just another ten would take him up to the magic figure of 400. It’s only taken him 551 games to get that far!
11. 500 starts for Barça
Leo Messi has started 484 of those 551 official fixtures for his beloved team. So, he only needs to be named in the starting line-up 16 more times to make it to 500. That’s a target he’s sure to meet before the 2016/17 season is out.