Lionel Messi scores 700th career goal but Barcelona stutter in title race

Lionel Messi scores 700th career goal but Barcelona stutter in title race
The Argentine reached the landmark in Barcelona’s 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid, a result which sees it lose ground on title rivals Real Madrid.

But for Messi, it’s just the latest record to be reached in an astonishing career which shows no signs of slowing down.

The cheeky finish was his 630th goal in 724 appearances for the Catalan club which is combined with the 70 goals he’s scored on the international stage.

They are stats which comfortably make him the record goal-scorer for both club and country.

The 33-year-old also joins an illustrious list of names such as Pelé, Ferenc Puskas and Gerd Muller to have reached the 700 milestone, company which also includes his long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese forward struck his 700th goal in October last year in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Ukraine.
Both are still way behind Czech-Austrian forward Josef Bican, who scored more than 800 goals in his career from 1928 to 1955, according to UEFA.

Barcelona slip up again

Despite his landmark achievement, Messi was in no mood to celebrate.

His delightfully chipped spot-kick was not enough to gain all three points for his side, which look to be falling short in its title defense.

The hosts twice threw away the lead, with Saul converting two penalties for third-placed Atletico.

Messi had been involved in Barcelona’s opener with his whipped corner bouncing off Diego Costa for an own-goal.

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However, the result leaves the Catalan’s one point behind Real Madrid having played one extra game.

“It’s a real shame and the league title is looking much harder for us with each game,” said Barcelona coach Quique Setien after the match.

“Dropping these points in reality pushes us further away from the title but we have to keep on working hard.”

About the author: Seth Grace

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