Football

Lionel Messi: A decade of goals

Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT) October 16, 2014
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He wears the number 10 on his back and he's spent the past decade delighting football fans across the world. Lionel Messi's achievements for Barcelona have led to many branding the Argentine the greatest player of all time. After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Messi has taken his place among the football gods. JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Messi's debut came against Espanyol on October 16, 2004. The 17-year-old came on as a substitute, replacing Portuguese midfielder Deco. The teen sensation would have to wait seven months for his first Barca goal, which came against Albacete on May 1, 2005. LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images/file
Hot on the heels of his first senior goal, Messi made his debut for the Argentine national side in a friendly against Hungary on August 17. ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images/file
Messi's reputation continued to grow and he showed his devastating potential on March 11, 2007. Matches between Barca and its archrival Real Madrid are dubbed "El Clasico" and regarded as one of the biggest games in the sport. Messi showed he belonged on the highest level with a hat-trick as the two teams drew 3-3. Denis Doyle/Getty Images/file
Barca lifted the European Champions League trophy in 2009, with Messi scoring the second goal in a 2-0 win over Manchester United in Rome. The club completed a treble of Spanish league, cup and European Cup triumphs in an historic season. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images/file
Messi's contribution to Barca's success was recognized as he was awarded the Ballon d'Or, the prize annually awarded to the world's best player. He has gone on to lift the gong on three further occasions. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images/file
By May 2011, he had fired Barca into another Champions League final, once again against Man Utd at Wembley. Messi scored as Barca outclassed the English champions, securing a comfortable 3-1 win and third European Cup triumph in six years. Predictably, Messi was awarded a third straight Ballon d'Or in December 2011. LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images/file
A moment of destiny arrived for Messi on March 2012 during a match against Granada. He bagged a hat-trick to move on to 235 goals for Barca and overtake Cesar Rodriguez as the club's all-time leading goalscorer. Cesar played for Barca between 1939 and 1955. David Ramos/Getty Images/file
Messi's goalscoring exploits scaled new heights in 2012. A strike against Valladolid on December 22 was his 91st of the calendar year, breaking a record previously held by Germany's Gerd Muller. Victor Fraile/Getty Images/file
Barca reigned in Spain during the 2012-13 season, running away with the league title by racking up 100 points. During his 10 years at the Nou Camp, Messi has won six league titles and two Spanish Cups in addition to three Champions League crowns. LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images/file
Messi led Argentina at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil earlier this year. As captain, he scored four as the South Americans advanced to a final meeting with Germany. However, even Messi couldn't guide Argentina to football's greatest prize, as Mario Gotze scored in extra-time to seal a win for the Germans. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images/file