CNN – Guest of the week Lionel Messi
CNN – Claire Evren & Lionel Messi in Barcelona
Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi to Return for Celta Vigo Clash This Weekend
Lionel Messi “Back in Barcelona. The Tour in US was sweet and sour for me. We got 2 wins with a great job from everyone, but I couldn’t play because of my swollen foot. It still hurts a bit, but I hope to recover soon so I can help the National team and FC Barcelona,”
Messi’s return comes as Barcelona continue their chase for the La Liga title against Celta Vigo on the weekend, and will be hoping he can make a big impact. He’s been outstanding in the league this season, scoring 32 goals and making 15 assists in 27 La Liga starts.
Lionel Messi in ‘Perfect Condition’, Confirms Barcelona Boss Luis Enrique
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique believes there are no injury concerns over star man Lionel Messi ahead of his side’s trip to Celta Vigo on Sunday.
“Messi has trained without any problem with the rest of his teammates,” Luis Enrique said on Saturday.
“We know he had a knock, but since he has arrived he is in good condition.
“Messi suffers a lot of knocks in every game. I am not going to talk about it again. He is in perfect condition to play.”
On 7 January 2013 Messi won the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or, again beating Cristiano Ronaldo into second place with team-mate Andrés Iniesta third. In doing this, Messi became the only player in history to win the Ballon d’Or four times. He described achieving the honor as “too great for words”. The feat spurred media comparison of Messi to footballing legends Pelé and Diego Maradona. “I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentinian football and his name is Messi.” – Diego Maradona on 18-year-old Messi, February 2006.
On 27 January 2013, Messi scored his 200th goal in La Liga in a 5–1 victory over Osasuna, becoming the eighth and youngest player to do so. 16 February 2013, Messi scored his 300th Barcelona goal against Granada CF, later scoring again in the match to bring his overall tally to 301 goals in 365 official matches. On 2 March 2013, Messi scored a goal against Real Madrid in a match that Barcelona lost 2–1. With that goal, Lionel Messi equalled Alfredo Di Stefano’s El Clásico goal record of 18. 9 March 2013, Messi scored against Deportivo de La Coruña, scoring in his 17th consecutive league match and breaking the all-time world record. Messi’s record consecutive goalscoring run of 33 goals in 21 games later ended against Atletico Madrid.
17 March 2013, Messi wore the captain’s armband for the first time in an official match for Barcelona, taking over after Andrés Iniesta was substituted in a match against Rayo Vallecano. On 30 March, Messi scored for his 19th consecutive La Liga game and thus became the first footballer in the history of La Liga to score in consecutive matches against every team.
Messi once again finished as La Liga’s top scorer for the second year running, with 46 goals and 12 assists in the competition. Messi totalled 60 goals and 16 assists across all competitions in the season.
Messi began his La Liga season on 18 August 2013 with two goals against Levante UD, in a match Barcelona would win 7–0. On 28 August, Barça won their 11th Supercopa de España title over Atlético Madrid. On 1 September, Messi scored the 23rd hat-trick of his career in a 3–2 win over Valencia CF. These goals saw him become the first player in La Liga history to score 100 away goals as well as the highest ever scorer in away fixtures in the history of the competition. These goals also made Messi the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of La Liga. On 18 September 2013, Messi netted the 24th hat-trick of his career during Barça’s first Champions League win of the season, against Ajax, which ended 4–0. The goals made him the second-highest goalscorer of all time in the Champions League, with 62 goals, only behind Raúl, and the fourth-highest goalscorer of all time in European Competitions, with 63. With the hat-trick Messi also became the first player to score four hat-tricks in the Champions League. On 10 November, Messi suffered his third injury of the season which would see him sidelined until January 2014.
On 8 January 2014, Messi returned from injury to score twice for Barça in a 4–0 Copa del Rey win against Getafe. On 13 January, he placed second in the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, behind rival Cristiano Ronaldo. On 15 February, Messi scored twice against Rayo Vallecano in a 6–0 win to overtake fellow Argentine Alfredo di Stéfano and match Raúl as the third-highest scorer in La Liga’s history, with 228 goals. On 16 March 2014, Messi scored a hat-trick in a 7–0 victory over Osasuna to overtake Paulino Alcántara as Barcelona’s top goalscorer in all competitions, friendlies included. On 23 March, he scored another hat-trick in a 4–3 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu to become the outright all-time top goalscorer in El Clásico fixtures, ahead of Di Stefano. These goals also saw him become the second highest goalscorer in La Liga.
Messi finished this season with only one trophy, the Spanish Super Cup. He was also the top scored in the Copa del Rey, although Barça were defeated by Real Madrid in the final. Messi’s season concluded with a total of 41 goals and 15 assists across all competitions.
Messi opened his season by scoring twice in a 3-0 victory over Elche CF. In his next match against Villareal CF, he assisted Sandro’s match-winning goal, despite suffering a hip injury during the clash. On 27 September, Messi scored his 400th career goal, aged 27, in a 6–0 win over Granada CF. In a post-match press conference he was praised by his new coach Luis Enrique, who stated: “It’s like Messi was touched by a magic wand.”
On 18 October, Messi scored his 250th La Liga goal in a 3-0 home win over SD Eibar. This goal placed Messi one goal from matching Telmo Zarra’s all-time La Liga goalscoring record of 251 goals. Previously that week, on 16 October, Messi had celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Barcelona debut. On 5 November, he scored both goals in Barça’s 2-0 win against Ajax, taking his team to the knock-out stage of the Champions League with two games remaining. The goals increased Messi’s total Champions League goal tally to 71, matching Raúl’s UEFA Champions League goal-scoring record. On 22 November Messi netted a hat-trick in a 5–1 win against Sevilla to become the all-time top goal scorer in La Liga with 253 goals, breaking the Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 held since 1955. Three days later, he scored another hat-trick in a 4–0 win against APOEL Nicosia to become the outright top scorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League with 74 goals.
On 7 December 2014, Messi scored his third consecutive hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 home victory over local rivals RCD Espanyol, which allowed him to surpass Cesár as the top goalscorer in the Derbi barceloní, with 12 goals. On 11 January 2015, Barcelona’s new “deadly trio” of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez scored in a 3–1 home victory against defending La Liga champions Atlético Madrid.
Messi placed second in the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or, behind rival Cristiano Ronaldo, for the second consecutive year.
Apr 4, 2015 @ 17:09