The records just keep on tumbling during Lionel Messi’s incredible career but aside from being Barcelona and Argentina’s leading goal scorer, La Liga’s deadliest hitman and the owner of five Ballon d’Ors, the boy from Rosario is also the top scorer in El Clásico history.
Alfredo Di Stefano, Raul, Ferenc Puskas and of course modern rival Cristiano Ronaldo have all scored in the famous fixture but it is Messi at the top of the pile.
Barcelona and Real Madrid meet again on Saturday with the Catalan giants knowing that victory in the Santiago Bernabeu would all but end their bitter enemies’ title hopes.
If that is to happen, Lionel Messi seems certain to be involved given the Argentinian’s imperious form this season. It wouldn’t be the first time, so here are five of his best in El Clásico.
1 – 10/03/2007 Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 3
The talent of the then 19-year-old Lionel Messi was already no secret but Madrid were given a harsh reminder at the Camp Nou in 2007 as the Argentinian opened his El Clásico account in style. The youngster had already scored twice with two unerring left-footed finishes to cancel out two Ruud van Nistelrooy goals but completed a famous hat-trick in stoppage time to deny the visitors for a third time.
Ronaldinho fizzed the ball into Messi’s feet some distance from goal but an outstanding first touch, a burst of pace to skip round Michel Salgado and a firm finish past Iker Casillas earned Barcelona a point.
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