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Author Topic: Lionel Messi Scores 400th Goal of His Career  (Read 982 times)

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Offline ctytravellink

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Lionel Messi Scores 400th Goal of His Career
« on: September 28, 2014, 05:07:14 AM »

The legend continues. Lionel Messi's two goals against Granada on Saturday took him past 400 in his career, while his two assists provided proof of his transition from goalscorer to playmaker. Jack of all trades - and a master of each.

Barcelona had a point to prove following a poor performance in the goalless draw at Malaga on Wednesday. Having failed to register a single shot on target for the first time since 2003-04, Luis Enrique's side were under scrutiny ahead of this match.

They reacted remarkably. Neymar gave the Catalans the lead with a deflected strike after 26 minutes, before Messi beat two men on the right and sent in a wonderful cross for Ivan Rakitic to head home the second. The Brazilian forward then added another almost straight away after latching on to a loose ball only half saved by Granada goalkeeper Roberto.

In the second half, Messi reached 400 career goals with a far-post header from a Dani Alves cross, set up Neymar for number five and ended the night with another goal - his 401st in an astonishing career.

Still only 27, the Argentine has reached his latest milestone with 369 goals for Barcelona and 42 for his national team - 401 goals in just 524 appearances for club and country.

His role these days is slightly different, however. Dropping deeper in more of playmaker position to allow more space for his fellow forwards, Messi is unlikely to repeat the incredible goalscoring feats which saw him net 91 in the 2012 calendar year and 73 in the 2011-12 season. But the team will benefit just as much - if not more.

Neymar, now in his second season at Camp Nou, is afforded more space this term and able to move into the centre of the Catalans' attack. His hat-trick takes him to six for the season already - and his understanding with Messi grows with every game.

"Neymar is an important player and he is rediscovering his goalscoring this season. That's great news for us," Luis Enrique said after the game.

Granada may not be the strongest of rivals, but the Andalusians had conceded only four times prior to this match and beat Athletic Club at San Mames last weekend. Once they went behind in this one, however, there was no stopping Barcelona.

Boosted by the return of Xavi in central midfield and an excellent performance from Jeremy Mathieu at the back in a seventh successive clean sheet this term, the damage was ultimately done by Neymar and, above all, Messi.

"In my generation, none of us scored 400 goals," Luis Enrique said of Messi's milestone. "Not at school, not on the street or anywhere." And he added: "I was going to take Messi off but he is such a joy to watch that I left him on."

Barca fans will agree and, at the age of just 27, they should have the pleasure of watching him yet for many more years to come.


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