Captain Leo Messi scores record 400th goal in La Liga for Barcelona

Former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second all-time in La Liga with 311 goals.

Published: 14th January 2019 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2019 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

Messi

Barcelona says the 31-year-old Lionel Messi has scored an astonishing 575 goals in 658 appearances (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

BARCELONA: That's 400 and counting.

Lionel Messi took his all-time Spanish league scoring record to 400 goals on Sunday after contributing to a 3-0 win over Eibar to keep defending champion Barcelona comfortably at the top.

Messi scored Barcelona's second goal shortly after halftime to reach a milestone in the competition after 435 league matches. Former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second all-time in La Liga with 311 goals.

In all competitions, Barcelona says the 31-year-old Messi has scored an astonishing 575 goals in 658 appearances.

"He is from another galaxy," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "They are incredible numbers. But he does much more than score goals, he also does so much to generate scoring chances for others."

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Barcelona's all-time top scorer got the landmark goal in the 53rd minute after Luis Suarez passed to him inside Eibar's area. The Argentine did the rest by opening an angle around a defender and driving in a low left-footed shot.

It was also Messi's league-leading 17th league goal and his 23rd goal overall this season.

"He should be proud," said Suarez, who scored Barcelona's other two goals. "Game after game he shows what a great player he is. I am happy for him and for the history that he is writing for this club."

Barcelona stayed five points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, which edged Levante 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Antoine Griezmann, as the league reached its midway point.

Real Madrid lost Karim Benzema to a right-hand injury in a 2-1 win at Real Betis to stay 10 points back in fourth place.

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