'From another planet': Fans in awe of record-breaking Messi feat

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Lionel Messi celebrates during Barca's victory over Real Sociedad.
Lionel Messi has now played more matches for Barcelona than any other player in the club's proud history. Pic: Getty

Lionel Messi has cemented his status as one of the greatest football players of all time in a record-breaking display for Barcelona in La Liga.

The Argentine broke Barcelona's all-time appearance record in a masterclass display against Real Sociedad that the Catalans won 6-1.

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Club legends Messi and Xavi were tied on 767 matches for Barcelona before the match, with the 33-year-old now holding the record outright after starring in his record-breaking 768th game.

Messi bagged two goals and an assist in the six-goal rout, taking his league tally to 23 for the season.

He's now scored 16 goals in 12 games this year to help Barca keep the pressure on league leaders Atletico Madrid.

Messi scored Barca's fourth and sixth goals at the Anoeta Stadium and set up the first of Sergino Dest's two goals.

Antoine Griezmann had opened the scoring and Ousmane Dembele added a fifth for the visitors while Ander Barrenetxea struck a fine consolation goal in the 77th minute.

The result keeps Barcelona well in the title race after a fifth league win in a row, with Ronald Koeman's men just four points adrift of Atletico entering the international break.

However, it was all about Messi's masterclass for fans on social media, many of whom insist his latest achievements make him the greatest player of all time.

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Barcelona's win was their ninth consecutive away win in the league, with a club record 10th within their grasp if they beat Real Madrid in the Clasico on April 10.

Real Sociedad next play Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao in the postponed Copa del Rey final from last year on April 3.

Oblak the hero for league leaders

In the capital, Jan Oblak swatted the ball away with a superb penalty save in the 86th minute which was celebrated by Atletico coach Diego Simeone on the sideline as if his team had just scored a goal.

His players did, too, rushing to embrace Oblak who secured Atletico a win that could be decisive in the fight for the league title.

Pictured here, Jan Oblak saves a spot-kick for Atletico Madrid against Alaves.
Jan Oblak's penalty save clinched the three points for La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid. Pic: Getty

Luis Suarez had earlier scored his 500th career goal with club and country to help give Atletico a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Alaves.

"Luckily I made the stop near the end of the match and we could add the three points," Oblak said.

"These points are crucial for us as Real Madrid and Barcelona are coming after us."

The win, only their third in the past seven league games, left Atletico six points clear of third-place neighbours Real Madrid.

Suarez, who had scored only twice in the last nine matches in all competitions, put Atletico ahead with a diving header in the 54th minute after a cross by Kieran Trippier.

Oblak preserved the victory by diving to his right to make a one-hand save against the late shot from the spot taken by Joselu.

with agencies

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