Lionel Messi surpasses Xavi Hernández to become player with most appearances for Barcelona

Lionel Messi made his 768th appearance for the Blaugranas in a La Liga encounter against Real Sociedad, surpassing the mark of 767 set by Xavi.

Lionel Messi in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

Lionel Messi on Sunday surpassed legendary midfielder Xavi Hernández as the player to have recorded the most appearances for Spanish giants FC Barcelona. Messi made his 768th appearance for the Blaugranas in a La Liga encounter against Real Sociedad, surpassing the mark of 767 set by Xavi, who played his final game for the iconic club nearly five and a half years ago. The Spanish midfielder won 27 trophies with FC Barcelona, in a club career that began on August 18, 1998.

The 768 matches played so far by the Argentine attacker, can be divided into six different competitions with La Liga witnessing the majority of such games. Messi played a total of 511 games in the Spanish top flight, with 149 games in the Champions League. 79 appearances have been registered in the Copa del Rey, 20 in the Spanish Super Cup, five in the Club World Cup and four in the European Super Cup.

A total of 376 games have been held at the Camp Nou, with 373 being away fixtures. 19 matches have been played at neutral venues. Messi played the most games (60) in the 2011/12 season.

César Rodríguez is originally the player to have recorded the most appearances for FC Barcelona, having played a total of 355 games. Goalkeeper Antoni Ramallets was the first to surpass this tally, achieving this unique distinction in 1960. Joan Segarra breached that record three years later, setting a new record of 404 games in official competitions, finishing with a total of 449 matches.

In 1979, Carles Rexach reached Segarra’s tally, before being surpassed by Migueli who registered an extraordinary 549 appearances till 1986.

Xavi smashed the legendary footballer’s record on 5 January 2011, making his 550th appearance in a Barcelona jersey, before finishing with a record 767 matches over the course of a glorious career.

The Blaugranas registered their fifth win on the bounce in the La Liga, following a 6-1 triumph against Sociedad. Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele found the back of the net for the visitors, with Sergino Dest and Messi notching a brace in a vital encounter.




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Sportslumo Desk

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