Lionel Messi made history for the umpteenth time on Monday night, as he equalled Xavi Hernandez as the player to have made the most appearances for Barcelona with 767.
The Argentine will surpass this figure when the Blaugrana take on Real Sociedad in San Sebastian on Sunday night, but after matching Xavi’s feat he penned a message on social media.
“Thanks to all my teammates who have accompanied me over the years, and to my family and friends for always being by my side.”
Messi, who scored two goals in Barcelona’s 4-1 win over Huesca, was praised by opposition forward Rafa Mir afterwards.
“Barcelona play with one more [player when he’s on the pitch],” he said.
Ronald Koeman was full of praise for his captain, too.
He added: ‘What more can you say about him. The level that he has maintained during so many games and so many years. He is the most important player in the history of the club. It’s a good job he is still with us.’
Messi broke the deadlock on 13 minutes shooting from outside the area. It was goal number 660 in those 767 matches. He wriggled clear of two Huesca defenders before scoring off the underside of the crossbar.
Messi has already scored 21 goals in LaLiga Santander this season, making him the Pichichi, but the hope is that this will not be his final campaign in the Spanish top flight.
The 33-year-old’s contract is currently set to expire on June 30 and his renewal is one of Joan Laporta’s priorities.
“Today Leo Messi has played 767 games wearing Barcelona’s shirt, as Xavi did too,” Laporta’s tweet read.
“Always with pride, courage and strength. Congratulations, Leo! Let’s keep adding more and more.”