It was surely just a matter of time, but Lionel Messi reached another landmark on Wednesday.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner broke the 500-goal plateau for his career during Barcelona’s 7-0 rout vs. Valencia in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals. That tally includes the 16 goals Messi scored during his time with Argentina’s U20 and U23 national teams.
Any other day, Luis Suarez’s four-goal outburst would be the talk of the match, but Messi deserves special praise for achieving this incredible milestone — at only 28 years old!
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Heading into the match, Messi stood at 498 career goals: 433 with Barcelona, 49 with Argentina’s national team, and 16 with the Albiceleste’s youth teams. A simple brace against Valencia would have been enough to get him to 500, but of course, in typical Messi fashion, he went one better and wound up sealing a hat trick. Here’s a look at all three goals that pushed his career total to 501: