Messi Makes More Barcelona History After Beating Xavi’s Record

Lionel Messi

Getty Lionel Messi celebrates

Lionel Messi made yet more Barcelona history on Sunday when his made his 506th La Liga appearance for the Catalan giants at the Camp Nou against Cadiz.

The 33-year-old has now overtaken club legend Xavi and is out on his own as the player with the most appearances for Barcelona in Spain’s top flight.

Messi led the side out at the Camp Nou with manager Ronald Koeman keeping faith with the same starting XI that were beaten 4-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in midweek in the Champions League.

Koeman will be hoping for a response from his side against Cadiz, particularly after league leaders Atletico Madrid were beaten 2-0 by Levante on Sunday. Victory for Barcelona will cut the gap to the Rojiblancos to six points and reignite hope of a title charge.

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More Messi Milestones

Messi’s latest landmark comes after the Argentine hit two new milestones in midweek in the defeat to PSG. The Barca skipper opened the scoring in the match from the penalty spot to notch his 20th goal of the season in all competitions. It’s a landmark he has reached for the last 13 seasons in a row.

The 33-year-old’s goal means he matches a Champions League record set by Real Madrid legend Raul.

Messi is certainly in good scoring form and has 10 goals in his last 10 matches for Barca in all competitions. He be hoping to add to that run against a Cadiz side that have conceded 15 times in their last four matches.

The Argentine also needs just one more goal to move level with former team-mate Luis Suarez at the top of the scoring charts in La Liga on 16 goals. Suarez has been in fine form this season but has hit something of a dry patch and hasa failed to score in his last three matches for Atletico.

Busquets Hits 400

Messi was not the only player to reach a landmark for Barcelona on Sunday. Veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets also started the game in what was his 400th league outing for the Catalan giants.

Busquets was expected to come under pressure for his place in the team this season following the arrival of Miralem Pjanic from Juventus in the summer. However, the 32-year-old remains ahead of Pjanic in the pecking order and has been a regular in midfield alongside Pedri and Frenkie de Jong.

Barcelona also have plenty of other exciting young midfield talents on the fringes of the first team. Riqui Puig is pushing for more starts after some exciting cameos off the bench, while 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba was handed his first-team debut in January.

Busquets may therefore face more competition for his place, particularly next season as Koeman is keen to revolutionize his team, according to Sport’s Lluis Miguelsanz. The Dutchman feels the club need “previously untouchable players to bring their cycle at the club to an end” and put trust in the club’s young stars.

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