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When Lionel Messi became Barcelona’s record goalscorer

The Argentina star reached the milestone, aged just 24, with a hat-trick in a 5-3 win over Granada at the Nou Camp on March 20, 2012.

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Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s record goalscorer (Nick Potts/PA)

Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s record goalscorer (Nick Potts/PA)

Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s record goalscorer (Nick Potts/PA)

Lionel Messi broke Barcelona’s 60-year-old goalscoring record eight years ago today.

The Argentina star reached the milestone, aged just 24, with a hat-trick in a 5-3 win over Granada at the Nou Camp.

Here, the PA news agency recalls Messi’s big moment.

Record breaker

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Final – Barcelona v Manchester United – Wembley Stadium
A familiar sight as Lionel Messi celebrates a goal (Nick Potts/PA)

Messi, who had already set up Xavi’s opener, equalled the record of 232 goals scored by Cesar Rodriguez in the 17th minute.

He met a deflected cross with a crisp first-time shot with his left foot which fizzed in off the far post.

He broke the record in the 68th minute, killing Dani Alves’ ball over the top with his first touch before lobbing advancing Granada keeper Julio Cesar with his second.

“Enhorabona (congratulations) Leo”, flashed up on the Nou Camp’s big screen as Barcelona’s players and fans celebrated wildly.

Messi’s third – and goal number 234 – came from another Alves pass four minutes from time, the forward rounding Cesar and finishing into an empty net.

The numbers

Messi’s third goal had taken his tally to 54 in all competitions that season.

He was then top-scorer in LaLiga with 34 goals from 27 games, moving two ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi finished the season with 50 league goals, 72 in all competitions, and went on to score a record-breaking 91 goals for Barca and Argentina combined in the calendar year.

And then…

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Final – Barcelona v Manchester United – Wembley Stadium
Another day, another trophy (Nick Potts/PA)

Messi’s goalscoring exploits continue to amaze. Now 32, he has now scored 438 LaLiga goals in 474 appearances. His last goal came from the penalty spot in a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad, taking his league tally for this season to 19, with 24 in all competitions.

The stats say he has scored 697 goals and provided 306 assists for club and country. Messi has also hit 54 career hat-tricks.

His honours haul includes six Ballon d’Or awards, 10 LaLiga titles, four Champions League wins, three Super Cups and six Copa del Rey’s. And he is showing no signs of easing up yet.

PA