What records and awards does Argentina’s Lionel Messi hold?

A look at Lionel Messi’s glittering career, laced with records and awards in club and international football.

lionel messi
Lionel Messi won his first World Cup when he led Argentina to the title in Qatar 2022 [File: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters]

The list reads 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021, and now 2023.

Lionel Messi has won the men’s Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time after fulfilling his life’s ambition by leading Argentina to the World Cup title in Qatar last year.

The 36-year-old is no stranger to the sport’s biggest awards and titles. Here’s a look at the list of honours the Argentine great has to his name:

Individual awards

  • Ballon d’Or: 8
  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 7
  • La Liga Player of the Year: 9
  • European Golden Shoe: 6
  • Laureus World Sports Award: 2
  • World Cup Golden Ball: 2
  • UEFA Men’s Player of the Year: 2
  • Copa America Most Valuable Player: 2

Club records

Messi began his career with FC Barcelona and stayed at the Spanish club until joining Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2021.

After a troubled two-year stint at the French club, he signed for Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami in June.

Messi was part of the Inter Miami team that won the 2023 League Cup and the PSG team that won the 2022-23 French Super Cup. But he etched his legacy in club football during his 21-year association with Barcelona.

Over the course of 778 games with the club, Messi scored 672 goals, ahead of Brazil great Pele, who scored 643 goals while playing for Santos. At Barcelona, Messi leads Cesar Rodriguez, who scored 446 goals for the Spanish giants.

  • La Liga titles: 10
  • Copa del Rey titles: 7
  • UEFA Champions League titles: 4
  • Most goals for Barcelona: 672
  • Most trophies won at Barcelona: 35
  • Most games played for Barcelona: 778
  • Most goals in La Liga: 474
  • Most hat-tricks in La Liga: 36
  • Most goals in El Clasico: 26
  • Most goals in a La Liga season: 50 [2011-12 season]
  • Most goals for club and country in a year [Guinness World Record]: 91 [2012]
  • Most goals in the UEFA Champions League with the same team: 120

International records

Messi made his debut for Argentina in 2005 and finally lifted the World Cup title 18 years later.

The talismanic captain has played 178 matches and scored a record 106 goals, 13 of which have been at the World Cup since 2006.

Although a leading player for Argentina, Messi is surpassed by Ronaldo in records for a national team, with 127 goals and 203 matches played.

In Argentina, Messi is followed by Gabriel Batistuta, who scored 56 goals for the Albiceleste. In South America, he leads with 106 goals – the most by any player on the continent.

Here’s what Messi’s achievements with Argentina look like:

  • FIFA World Cup 2022
  • Olympic gold at Beijing 2008
  • All-time leading goalscorer: 106
  • Most international caps: 178
  • Most goals for a South American nation: 106
  • Youngest Argentinian to score at a World Cup: 18 years 357 days
  • First player to score in four different World Cup tournaments for Argentina
  • Most individual World Cup appearances: 26
  • Most Argentina World Cup goals: 13
  • Only player to score in World Cup group stage, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies