Lionel Messi Reaches New Landmark, Scores Goal Against 100th Different Opponent


Argentine maestro Lionel Messi reached yet another milestone in his decorated career as Atlanta United became the 100th team he scored against on Wednesday. Inter Miami registered their second consecutive victory since the arrival of their latest recruit. In Messi’s first appearance he scored a free kick in the final minutes of the game to mark his debut on a remarkable note.

In his first start and leading his new team for the first time, the Argentinian scored two first-half goals to take his tally up to three goals and one assist in two games.

With his brace, Atlanta United became the 100th team he scored against in a career that has lasted for almost 20 years.

He opened his account at the end of the 2004-05 season against Albacete in La Liga. The Argentinian came off the bench in the 87th minute. He lofted the shot over the keeper following a pass from the Brazilian winger Ronaldinho to score his first senior goal.

The seven time Ballon d Or’ winner played for clubs such as Grandoli, Newell’s Old Boys and Barcelona in the early 1990s to early 2000s, Messi made his debut for Barcelona C in 2003, scoring five goals in 10 appearances. After a year-long stint with Barcelona B from 2003-04, in which he scored six goals in 22 matches, Messi made his debut for the senior team of the Catalan giants on November 16, 2003, as a 16-year-old.

In his debut game for Barcelona’s senior side, Messi came on as a substitute in the 75th minute against FC Porto. Ever since he broke into the national team, he took very little time in rising to the status of a talismanic striker.

He went on to play for the Catalan giants for close to two decades, till 2021, making 520 appearances and scoring 474 goals for them. With Barcelona, he won the La Liga, the top domestic football competition in Spain, in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

He won four UEFA Champions League titles with Barcelona in 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, and 2014-15 seasons. ‘La Pulga’ also lifted 7 Copa Del Rey trophies with Barcelona in 2008-09, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2020-21 seasons.

Among other honours he won with Barcelona are, three FIFA Club World Cups (2009, 2011 and 2015), three UEFA Super Cup titles (2009, 2011 and 2015) and seven Spanish Super Cup titles (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018). He won an incredible 34 titles with the club — no mean returns by any stretch of the imagination. With Barcelona, he also completed two season trebles — a rare footballing feat of winning three major titles in a single season.

A treble win would generally imply lifting the domestic league trophy, winning a domestic cup competition and a continental-level cup competition. In the context of European football, it generally implies winning the domestic league, the domestic cup title and the prestigious UEFA Champions League, which is the top-most league in the continent.

After a glorious career with Barcelona, he joined Paris Saint-Germain, a French football giant, in 2021.

For PSG, Messi made 58 appearances scoring a total of 22 goals. Also, with the Parisian footballing giants, Messi won two Ligue 1 titles in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. He also won a Trophee des Champions title with the club in 2022.

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