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What is driving them to the frontline?
21 Mar 2012 13:51 GMT
Three-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi has broken Barcelona(***)s 60-year-old goalscoring record of 232 held by Cesar Rodriguez [GETTY]
The 24-year-old Argentina forward achieved the feat when he scored a hat-trick against Granada at the Nou Camp to move his tally to an astonishing 34 league goals for the Spanish champions this season [GETTY]
Messi netted his first goal for Barcelona on May 1 2005 at the age of 17, with Brazilian Ronaldinho providing the assist. He has not looked back since [GETTY]
Against arch-rivals Real Madrid Messi has been unstoppable. His treble at the Nou Camp in March 2007 was a highlight. Barcelona were trailing three times before Messi thumped an added-time equaliser to make it 3-3 in the (***)Clasico(***) [GETTY]
Messi showed his potential as a possible successor to compatriot Diego Maradona in a Copa del Rey match against Getafe in April 2007 scoring a breathtaking goal reminiscent of Maradona(***)s brilliant goal for Argentina against England at the 1986 World Cup [GETTY]
There is no stopping Messi in Europe either. He is the top scorer in the Champions League for the past three seasons and is leading the way again this season on 12 goals to take his career total to 49 in 64 games [GETTY]
In March Messi became the first player to score five in a Champions League game, with Bayer Leverkusen the unfortunate victims [GETTY]
He has pulled out a number of memorable performances against the big clubs, including scoring a goal in each of the 2009 and 2011 finals, both against Manchester United [GETTY]
"We are witnessing the best [player] in every sense... He does everything, and he does it every three days. I(***)m sorry for those that want to sit on his throne, but this lad is the best" said Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola [GETTY]
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