Despite not being a recognised as an out-and-out striker, Lionel Messi has managed to score goals with ridiculous frequency throughout his career and that has continued during his time at PSG.
The Argentine has reached milestones throughout his career and continues to chase more history in front of goal.
Arguably the most prestigious record left for him to conquer is the all-time goals scored by a men’s player in the history of the sport. That’s a mark currently held by Cristiano Ronaldo, but Messi is certainly within reach.
Messi’s career is winding down at age 35, and no one knows for sure how long he’ll keep playing. Ronaldo is continuing to score goals for his new club in Saudi Arabia, and Messi will need to do it a bit more frequently in order to catch up to his fellow superstar.
MORE: When did Messi last win the Champions League?
Lionel Messi 800 goals
Messi is now just one goal away from his next big milestone as he closes in on 800 goals for club and country.
The World Cup winner currently sits on 799 goals with his most recent strike coming on March 4, 2023 against Nantes in Ligue 1.
Messi has gone goalless across his past two games, with PSG next playing Rennes in Ligue 1 on Sunday, March 19.
After netting his 800th goal, Messi’s next notable milestone will be scoring his 100th goal for Argentina with the attacker currently on 98.
Lionel Messi goals
🇦🇷 Leo Messi scored his 100th #UCL goal five years ago today 🙌 pic.twitter.com/JJWyLgDYTr
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 14, 2023
Lionel Messi goals record chase
Along with setting his own personal milestones, Messi remains within touching distance of becoming the all-time men’s top scorer in the history of the sport.
Cristiano Ronaldo currently holds the record with 828 goals for club and country. The Portugal legend is notably two years older than Messi and has played 140 more games to date.
Table below updated as of March 19, 2023
Ronaldo is now playing his club football in Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr, which could presumably give him a leg up on Messi in terms of scoring chances and goals. Messi has to contend with Ligue 1 teams that at least on paper appear to pose a stiffer challenge.
But should Ronaldo retire before Messi, the Argentine could get a unique window to replace the Portugal forward as the all-time top scorer.
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo had quite a significant head start on Messi in terms of their professional careers.
The Portugal forward’s first taste of senior football came in 2002/03, giving him a two-season advantage over Messi who didn’t debut at first-team level until 2004/05.
During that span, Ronaldo netted 13 times for club and country as he quickly began finding his feet in front of goal.
The season Messi made his first senior appearances, 2004/05, he only scored once, while Ronaldo added a further 16 goals during that same season.
It wasn’t until 2008/09 that Messi outscored Ronaldo in a single season with the Argentine still playing catch up all these years later.