Lionel Messi scores 40 goals for club and country in calendar year for 11th consecutive time
The records keep tumbling for Lionel Messi. During the course of his record-equalling 34th La Liga hat-trick, scored against Celta de Vigo on the 12th matchday of the ongoing season, Messi registered his 40th goal for club and country in the calendar year 2019.
It marked the 11th straight year, the diminutive Argentinian has achieved the landmark.
In 47 appearances for club and country in 2019, Messi has scored 39 goals in 41 games for Barcelona and one goal in six Copa America appearances for Argentina, for a total of 40 goals.
Messi has scored 29 goals in 26 Liga games this year (21 in 19 games of the 2018-19 season, and eight in seven games in the ongoing 2019-20 season), three in five Copa del Rey games, and seven in 10 UEFA Champions League games (six in six in 2018-19, one in four in 2019-20).
During the course of the season, Messi became the first player to score in 16 consecutive Liga seasons and 15 consecutive UEFA Champions League seasons.
In eight of the last nine calendar years, Messi scored 50 or more goals for club and country, topping with a record 91 goals (in 69 games) in 2012 which obliterated German legend Gerd Muller's long-standing record of 85 goals set for Bayern Munich and Germany in the 1972 season.
To provide a semblance of perspective about Messi's achievement, among contemporary players, Cristiano Ronaldo (2010-2018) has accomplished the same for club and country for a period of 10 consecutive years. Ronaldo, who has scored 28 goals in 42 games for club and country (18 in 34 games for Juventus, 10 in eight games for Portugal) in 2019 may fall short of equalling Messi's mark, but then again there is still time for the Portugal captain to extend his streak for yet another year.
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:00 IST