Lionel Messi: Barcelona forward scores 700th goal with Panenka penalty

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Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his career with a ‘Panenka’ penalty in Barcelona’s La Liga game with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The Spanish giants’ all-time top scorer hit the landmark goal for club and country by gently chipping the ball into the net as Jan Oblak dived the wrong way.

The goal put Barcelona 2-1 up in their crunch game at the top of the table.

It is the Argentina star’s 630th goal in his 724th appearance for the club.

Messi joins 700 club

Another year, another milestone for Messi.

His 700th career goal – coming just over 14 months after netting for the 600th time for Barcelona – means he joins a select group.

According to data from Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation, Messi is now one of seven players to have reached the 700-goal mark in their career.

Czech-Austrian Josef Bican leads the way with 805 career goals, followed by Brazil legend Romario, who bagged 772, with his compatriot Pele third on 767.

Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas hit 746 goals, while former Germany striker Gerd Muller rounds out the top five with 735 goals.

Messi’s great modern goalscoring rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is the sixth man on the list, having reached 700 career goals with a strike for Portugal in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Ukraine in October last year. He has added a further 25 goals to his tally since then.

A model of consistency, Messi has scored more than 40 goals for club and country in each of the past 11 calendar years and more than 50 in nine of the past 10. So far in 2020, after a three-month disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he has 11 to his name.

Of the 40 La Liga opponents Messi has faced during his career, he has only failed to score against three of them – Xerez, Real Murcia and Cadiz.

How has he scored his 700 goals?

The majority of his goals have come from his left foot – 582 of them – with 92 coming courtesy of his right.

Not the biggest of players, nor one who has operated in a side reliant on crosses into the box, only 24 of his 700 goals have come from a header.

Clinical from a dead ball, Messi has also netted 52 direct free-kicks and scored 90 penalties.

Most come from efforts inside the box (580), with 120 originating from outside the penalty area.