Messi's record-breaking career

Published 2215 GMT (0615 HKT) March 20, 2012
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Lionel Messi's hat-trick against Granada took his tally for Barcelona to 234 and past the club's previous highest scorer, Cesar Rodriguez, who notched 232. The 24-year-old secured the record with this cheeky chip. Getty Images
Messi's first goal for Barca came in May 2005 against Albacete, a strike which made him the youngest goalscorer in the club's history. The record was later broken by Spain's Bojan Krkic, who is now with Italian Serie A side Roma. Getty Images
The Argentine cemented his position in Barca folklore in March 2007 when he scored a hat-trick against archrivals Real Madrid in a 3-3 draw. He was the first player to score a treble in the "El Clasico" fixture since Chile's Ivan Zamarano in the 1994-95 season. Getty Images
Comparisons between Messi and his legendary compatriot Diego Maradona were becoming more and more frequent. Messi made them unavoidable by scoring a goal against Getafe in a Copa del Rey semifinal which bore a startling resemblence to Maradona's famous strike against England at the 1986 World Cup. Getty Images
In February 2009, Messi came off the bench to score twice as Barca rallied from behind to beat Racing Santander 2-1. His second goal was Barca's 5000th in league competition. Getty Images
Messi headed the second goal as Barca comprehensively outplayed Manchester United in the 2009 European Champions League final, registering a 2-0 win in Rome. Getty Images
He scored four goals in a match for the first time in his career when Barca beat Arsenal 4-1 in the second leg of their Champions League last eight match in April 2010. Getty Images
Messi haunted Manchester United in a Champions League final for the second time in 2011 when he scored the second goal as Barca beat the English Champions 3-1 at Wembley. It was Barca's third European triumph in six years. Getty Images
In January, Messi was crowned the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner for the third time in his career having also won the award for the world's best player in 2010 and 2011. No-one has ever won it four times. Getty Images
He made Champions League history earlier in March by becoming the first player to score five goals in a single match during Barca's 7-1 demolition of German side Bayer Leverkusen. Getty Images