Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has won a record 34 trophies in an illustrious career with the Catalan giants, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, and four UEFA Champions League titles.
Apart from winning a record number of titles, Messi has set several world records during his prolific 18-year career. As he celebrates his 34th birthday, we take a look at the Argentine's five records that may never be broken.
Only Player to Win Four Consecutive Ballon d'Or awards
Messi is the only player to have won four Ballon d'Or awards in successive years from 2009 to 2012. So far no other player in history, including his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, has claimed the award for three consecutive years.
Often considered as the barometer of a footballer's dominance on the field, FIFA's prestigious award has been dominated by Messi since he was in his early twenties. At 25 years, 6 months and 15 days, Messi was also the youngest player ever to bag four Ballon d'Or awards.
Most Goals Scored in a Calendar Year
In 2012, Messi set a new world record for scoring the most goals in a calendar year. With a tally of 91 goals total, he shot past Bayern Munich's Gert Muller's all-time record of 85 goals, which he scored in 1972.
Out of his 91 goals, Messi won 12 for Argentina and another 79 for his club Barcelona.
Former Indian midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi, who also played for Indian Super League (ISL) team ATK Football Club (ATK) told Sputnik on Thursday, "Scoring 91 goals in a year is simply unbelievable. I don't think this record will be broken in the near future."
He added: "Messi is a goal scoring machine and he will continue to score goals and break records for as long as he continues to play football".
Most Goals for a Single Club
Apart from scoring the most goals in a calendar year, Messi has also scored the most number of goals for a single club. With his 672 goals for Barcelona, he is on top of the list of highest goal scorers for a club.
Following him on the list is Brazilian great Pele, who scored 643 goals for his boyhood club Santos.
Most Goals in La Liga
Messi is also the leading goal scorer in the history of La Liga. With 474 goals, he is the only player to score more than 400 goals in the history of the league.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who played for Messi's rival club Real Madrid from 2009 to 2018, is a distant second in the list with his 311 goals.
Most Assists in Football History
Messi is not just a beast when it comes to scoring goals, he is equally good with assists. With 356 assists, including 305 assists for Barcelona and 51 for Argentina, he is the leading assist provider in football history.
No other player has 300 assists to his name. Ronaldo with 269 assists is second in the charts behind Messi.
Former India international Mehtab Hossain is a fan of Messi's creativity.
While speaking to Sputnik on Thursday, Hossain said, "The way Messi assists his teammates in scoring goals is a sign of his genius. He is not only a prolific goal scorer but a great assist provider as well, which Cristiano Ronaldo isn't."