MX23RW : Sunday, October 21 04:21:12

Top 10 Barcelona players of all time - #1

Sports Mole's countdown of Barcelona's top 10 players of all time concludes with number one - Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates scoring during his side's Champions League group game against Juventus at the Camp Nou on September 12, 2017© Offside

Appearances: 637
Goals: 552
Trophies: 9x La Liga, 6x Copa del Rey, 7x Supercopa de Espana, 4x Champions League, 3x UEFA Super Cup, 3x FIFA Club World Cup

As good as Xavi, Andres Iniesta and others have been for Barcelona, there has never been any doubt that the star of the show is Lionel Messi - a man regarded by many to be the greatest player the world has ever seen.

The list of records and statistics Messi has obliterated is far too long to list here - indeed by now the number of goalscoring milestones he does not hold must be shorter than the number he does.

Even a quick rundown of Messi's most impressive highlights is extensive, be it his ludicrous 91 goals in 2012, 73 goals in 2011-12, a run of scoring in 21 successive matches, winning the Ballon d'Or five times or the European Golden Shoe five times.

Messi has always been more interested in team awards than individual accolades, though, and he matches Iniesta as the most decorated player in Barcelona's history - a record he will surely break in the coming years.

Indeed, the fact that Messi is still just 30 is a frightening prospect considering he is already 300 goals clear of the next highest scorer in the club's history and just 130 appearances short of Xavi's record.

The Argentine has changed football entirely since his debut in 2004, scoring at least 40 goals in each of his last nine seasons, and there is surely no better example of loyalty, consistency and quality at the very highest level in football history, yet alone simply Barcelona's history.

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Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on January 28, 2018
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Messi wins fifth European Golden Shoe
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona953123111218
2AlavesAlaves9522128417
3Sevilla95132012816
4Atletico MadridAtletico944194516
5Real Madrid9423139414
6Espanyol8422117414
7Levante94141415-113
8Real Valladolid833276112
9Real Betis833256-112
10Real Sociedad83231211111
11Celta Vigo92431313010
12Valencia917178-110
13EibarEibar8314912-310
14Getafe823367-19
15Villarreal923467-19
16GironaGirona82331013-39
17Leganes9225813-58
18Athletic Bilbao7142913-47
19Rayo Vallecano7124715-85
20Huesca8125718-115

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