Lionel Messi reached another epic milestone on Tuesday as he scored his 700th career goal during Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid.
The talismanic Argentine took his tally for the Catalan giants to 630 from 724 games with a cheeky Panenka-style penalty to put his side 2-1 up, and with 70 international goals also to his name from his 138 caps for Argentina, he now becomes the seventh player in history to reach 700 overall.
It wasn’t enough to earn his side the victory they needed to temporarily leapfrog Real Madrid to the top of the LaLiga table, as a second penalty of the match from Saul Niguez earned the third-placed visitors a point at the Nou Camp.
Messi had earlier claimed his 321st career assist when Diego Costa turned in his curling corner kick at the near post only for Niguez’s first spot-kick – which was retaken after Costa missed the initial effort – to level the scores.
Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, became the sixth player to reach 700 goals back in October when scoring for Portugal but while the Juventus star achieved the landmark in his 974th game – and almost exactly 17 years after his first goal for Sporting Lisbon in 2002/03 – Messi managed it in his 862nd match and 15 years after his maiden goal, which came in his ninth senior appearance against Albacete in May of the 2004/05 season, aged 17.