Hat-trick in the El Clasico (2007)
In 2007, Messi demonstrated his actual talent in one of the world’s most important matches — an El Clasico contest versus Real Madrid. Messi scored his first-ever hat-trick for Barcelona in this round of the fierce rivalry, drawing them level three times. The last goal was a stroke of sorcery in stoppage time, when he fooled two Real Madrid defenders before smashing it low past Iker Casillas. With so much at stake, it was the moment when Messi cemented his place as a cult hero at the Nou Camp.
Getafe’s Goal (2007)
The best goals may not always appear spectacular, but it is the fluidity of the move that cements its cult status. This is similar to Messi’s goal against Getafe in the 2006/07 Copa Del Rey. Running from his own half, Messi jinked his way through five opponents, nutmegging one and leaving two others on their backsides before finishing coolly beyond a hapless keeper. It was such an iconic play that Barcelona has subsequently labelled it the best goal in the club’s history, as well as one of the top moments in Lionel Messi’s career.
Destruction of Arsenal (2011)
Lionel Messi has used the Champions League to display his abilities, and his performance against Arsenal in the 2011 second round was merely one of his greatest. Barcelona was eager to make a statement after losing the first leg 2-1 to Arsenal. During the first half, Messi ran past two Arsenal players before chipping the ball over Manuel Almunia and collecting and rolling it into an empty net. Messi would subsequently add a penalty to the 3-1 victory, serving as a warning to never underestimate Messi’s devastating skills.
5 goals vs. Leverkusen (2012)
It is unusual to see a player score five goals in a Champions League campaign, but Messi accomplished it in a single game against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2011/12 Champions League quarter-finals. Messi scored five goals against the Bundesliga side, including a number of superb finishes against a team that appeared to be out of their depth. It was the first time any player had scored five goals in the Champions League, and it capped off a record-breaking year for Messi. One of the finest moments in Lionel Messi’s career? Five of the very finest!
Attempting to break Muller’s record (2012)
Gerd Muller’s record for most goals in a calendar year appeared unbreakable until Lionel Messi came along in 2012 and broke it. The Argentine winger scored on nearly every shot he took for both club and country, setting records wherever he went. In a 79-goal season for Barcelona that year, he set a new record by scoring 59 goals in La Liga. If you include his 12 goals for Argentina, he now has 91 goals for the year, a new record that is unlikely to be broken again.
Six Ballon d’Or awards (2019)
The Messi vs. Ronaldo rivalry has been exciting to watch over the previous two decades, and Messi advanced in the battle by capturing his sixth Ballon D’Or title in 2019. Before Messi’s victory in 2019, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were tied for the most coveted individual accolade in international football, with five each. Both players have time to add to their collections, thus the battle between two of the all-time greats is far from done. However, Lionel Messi would undoubtedly rate this as one of the most memorable moments of his career.
Pele’s all-time club record is broken (2020)
Pele was formerly regarded as the best of all time, and his 643 goals for Santos appeared to be an unbreakable record. However, Messi easily smashed the record for most goals scored by a single player for a single club in December 2020, the final inclusion on our list of the finest Lionel Messi moments. Despite the fact that the goal against Real Valladolid was not his finest, Messi’s 644th goal for Barcelona was a watershed event in world football. Messi has already surpassed the 650-goal mark and might well surpass the 700-goal mark by the time he retires.
Hat-trick in the El Clasico (2007)