Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson was quick to send his congratulations to Barcelona captain Lionel Messi after he scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid:
Congratulations to the legend himself, Lionel Messi, for scoring his 700th career goal! 👏🏾💪🏾
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 30, 2020
Messi reached the landmark in some style too. He scored a cheeky ‘Panenka’ penalty against Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The Slovenian is widely regarded to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
7️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ has arrived! 🐐
Lionel Messi's landmark goal comes in the form of a Panenka to give @FCBarcelona a 2-1 lead over @atletienglish!#BarcaAtleti
📺 – beIN SPORTS
💻📱 – beIN SPORTS CONNECT: https://t.co/LRYa03w6yI pic.twitter.com/dXnI0kJhAa
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) June 30, 2020
The goal means that Messi becomes only the seventh player in history to hit 700 career goals. He joins Josef Bican, Gerd Muller, Pele, Ferenc Puskas, Romario, and Cristiano Ronaldo as the only stars to have achieved the feat.
Messi in Numbers
Messi’s strike was his 630th for club side Barcelona who he joined as a 13-year-old from Newell’s Old Boys. The forward has also scored 70 times for the Argentina national team.
700 – Lionel Messi has scored his 700th first-team goal for Barcelona (630) and Argentina (70). Iconic. pic.twitter.com/vx3dJGgpaD
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 30, 2020
The goal also means Messi now has 735 goals in all competitions, including friendlies, for Barcelona. Tuesday’s strike takes his tally to the season to 22 in La Liga and extends his lead at the top of the goalscoring charts in La Liga to five from Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
Another Landmark on a Tough Night
Although it’s another impressive landmark for Messi there’s no denying it was another tough night for Barcelona. The result was a third draw in four matches for Quique Setien’s side, further denting their hopes of retaining their league title.
The defending champions led the table by two points when La Liga resumed earlier this month after a three-month break due to coronavirus but are now a point behind Real Madrid and have played a game more.
Midfielder Sergio Busquets insisted after the match that Barcelona have not given up all hope of retaining their title just yet.
“To fight for the title is really complicated if you drop points in two games but we’ll keep fighting to the end. We know it’s going to be difficult but we are going to try.
“We were leaders and so in the perfect situation before the break and I think it’s been difficult for us after the break. Some games we’ve played better, others we haven’t, but dropping points today and at the weekend means we are a little bit further away from our goal which is to retain the title.”
Barcelona is not in action now until Sunday when they play away at Villarreal. Should Real Madrid beat Getafe on Thursday they will extend their lead to four points with five games left.
The Catalans’ will have their work cut out against Villarreal too. They have been far from convincing away from home in 2019-20 and have won only two of their last nine fixtures on the road in La Liga.