Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi scored his 700th goal this week, reaching a new milestone in his storied career.
Messi achieved the feat in Barcelona’s league match against Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou Stadium which ended 2-2 on Tuesday.
The Barca veteran scored the goal with a spectacular “Panenka penalty” that deceived Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
The penalty taker should flick underneath the ball gently to chip it into the net when the goalkeeper chooses a side (left or right) to dive. This penalty kick was imitated much after former Czech player Antonin Panenka scored the winning penalty against West Germany in the UEFA EURO 1976 final in Belgrade.
Having scored 700 goals in total, Messi is now challenging his rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portuguese forward has tallied 728 goals so far.
European football’s governing body, UEFA, said Czech-Austrian forward Josef Bican is still the all-time top scorer with approximately 805 career goals but played the game between the 1930s and 1950s.
“The top scorer of all time is generally accepted to be Czech-Austrian legend Josef Bican, whose final haul, albeit including reserve fixtures and games outside the top flight, is around 805. Romario and Pele both ended their careers with tallies well into the 700s,” UEFA said.
But Messi and Ronaldo are the most prolific forwards in modern times as there has been a competition between the duo for a long time.
Coming from a Barcelona youth setup, Messi has been a professional player since 2005.
Messi, 33, scored 630 goals in 724 appearances for Barcelona.
Argentina’s No. 10, Messi netted 70 goals for his nation, where he captains.
Messi netted 441 goals in 480 Spanish La Liga appearances.
He helped Barcelona win 10 La Liga, six Spanish Cup and four UEFA Champions League titles and three UEFA Super Cup and three FIFA Club World Cup trophies.
However, Messi has been unable to win a World Cup with Argentina.
Messi-led Argentina participated in World Cup tournaments four times (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018).
The South American giants were very close to winning the World Cup in 2014, but they were beaten by Germany 1-0 in the final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.
The 1978 and 1986 world champions, Argentina, have been waiting for a long time to quench their World Cup thirst.
Ronaldo scores 728 goals in career
Messi’s bitter rival, Juventus superstar Ronaldo, has netted 728 career goals.
Ronaldo scored 629 club goals, as he previously played for Portugal’s Sporting, English powerhouse Manchester United and Spanish giants Real Madrid.
He scored 99 goals for the Portuguese national team.
A former Real Madrid hero, Ronaldo tallied 450 goals for the Spanish club from 2009 to 2018.
Portugal’s No. 7 also netted 118 goals for Manchester United in 2003-2009.
Ronaldo is a five-time Champions League winner (four with Real Madrid in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018). He first claimed this title with Manchester United in 2008.
During his six-year spell at Manchester United, Ronaldo bagged the English Premier League title for three years in a row (2007, 2008 and 2009).
He won La Liga twice with Real Madrid (2012 and 2017).
In 2018, Ronaldo made his way to Italy to play for Juventus, where he became the Italian champion last season.
His nation has been cherishing Ronaldo, as the 35-year-old guided Portugal to win its first-ever major title, the UEFA EURO 2016.
Portugal won against hosts France 1-0 in 2016 final to be Europe’s number one.
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