The La Masia product reached new heights on Wednesday as his stunning free-kick against Liverpool help bring up the 600 mark

Lionel Messi’s incredible free-kick in Wednesday evening’s resounding 3-0 win over Liverpool brought the mercurial Argentine’s tally to an astounding 600 goals in 683 games for Barcelona, 14 years to the day since his first strike for the Spanish champions.

That’s a ratio of 0.9 goals per match.

For perspective, Messi became Barca’s all-time top scorer way back in March 2012 with a glorious hat-trick against Granada, surpassing the previous leader, Cesar Rodriguez, who had topped the table with 232.

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With his 600th, the 31-year-old now sits 368 goals ahead of Rodriguez. Just let that sink in.

Throughout his long career, Messi has faced a total of 85 teams in all competitions and only nine of those can say he didn’t manage to find the net against them.

That’s an unbelievable total of 76 clubs that have felt his wrath, and it’s no surprise that El Clasico’s top scorer’s best numbers have come against Spanish opposition. Poor Sevilla.

Pele famously complained Messi has only one foot and the Opta numbers show how strongly he favours his superb left: of his 600 club goals, 491 have been scored with his left foot, compared to 85 with his right.

If the tool does the job, why change it? 

Looking at his entire Barca career, his tally of 79 strikes across 2012 stands out as his highest-scoring year – an astounding number that works out at more than six goals per calendar month.

Year Goals scored
2005 3
2006 10
2007 25
2008 20
2009 38
2010 58
2011 55
2012 79
2013 39
2014 50
2015 48
2016 51
2017 50
2018 47
2019 27

He is a man who has settled an incredible amount of matches on his own, but football, after all, is a team game and Messi has struck up some notable partnerships with club-mates over the years.

The partnership between Messi and Dani Alves was famously productive, the Brazilian full-back setting up 42 of his club goals. But striker Luis Suarez has been gradually catching Alves’s record and now sits on 41 assists.

Messi’s great rival Cristiano Ronaldo beat him to 600 club career goals by a mere four days and is also clear of the Barca captain when it comes to Champions League goals on 126 – fair to say the Argentine’s112 in Europe’s top competition is still a remarkable feat.

His recent hat-trick against Real Betis was arguably the best treble yet, the third goal coming with a breathtaking chip over goalkeeper Pau Lopez that went in off the crossbar. It was the 45th hat-trick Messi has scored for Barcelona.

Some may argue penalties are a rare area of weakness for Messi, but he has still scored 70 times from the spot for Barcelona. His expertise from free-kicks is something that’s not in doubt, however, and his wonderful effort against Liverpool was his 42nd from direct set pieces in Barca colours.