Lionel Messi overtakes Cristiano Ronaldo as the all-time record goalscorer in Europe’s top five leagues with goal number 438 against Real Sociedad
- Lionel Messi scored the match-winner for Barcelona against Real Sociedad
- The late penalty was Messi’s 438th La Liga goal in his 474th appearance
- That puts him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in goals in Europe’s top five leagues
Lionel Messi broke another record on Saturday as his match-winner against Real Sociedad saw him overtake rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the goalscoring stakes in Europe’s top five leagues.
The Barcelona captain converted from the penalty spot with nine minutes remaining to give his side all three points, and in doing so scored his 438th La Liga goal in his 474th appearance.
That puts him one goal ahead of Ronaldo’s 437 goals for Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus.
Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the match-winner against Real Sociedad on Saturday
The Barcelona captain slotted the ball home to give his side all three points in La Liga
Saturday’s record-setter was highly contentious, given the nature of how the late penalty was awarded.
The ball struck Robin Le Normand’s upper arm in the area and after reviewing it pitch-side, the referee Juan Martinez decided that it had been in an unnatural position and pointed to the spot.
Messi and Ronaldo, widely considered the best players of their generation, have been up against each other for individual prizes and records for over 10 years – Messi has six Ballon d’Or crowns, while Ronaldo has five.
The duo came up against each other regularly while Ronaldo played for Real Madrid for nine years.
Messi scored his 24th goal of the season at a time when a breakthrough seemed unlikely
Ronaldo will have the opportunity to go level with Messi when Juventus play Inter on Sunday
Saturday’s goal was Messi’s 24th of the season in all competitions, and came at a crucial time with Barca looking to bounce back in the La Liga title race.
They fell behind rivals Madrid last week after losing 2-0 in El Clasico at the Bernabeu, but they’re now top ahead of Madrid’s game in hand against Real Betis on Sunday night.
Ronaldo has the chance to go level with Messi when Juventus face Inter Milan in a huge clash in Serie A at the Allianz Stadium this evening.
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