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Barcelona's Messi breaks Zarra's Liga mark

Published: Saturday 22 November 2014, 20.45CET
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi broke Telmo Zarra's record of 251 Liga goals with a hat-trick against Sevilla FC. looks at the top ten he now heads.
by Joseph Walker
from Madrid
Barcelona's Messi breaks Zarra's Liga mark
Lionel Messi's team-mates congratulate him after his record-breaking display ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Saturday 22 November 2014, 20.45CET

Barcelona's Messi breaks Zarra's Liga mark

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi broke Telmo Zarra's record of 251 Liga goals with a hat-trick against Sevilla FC. looks at the top ten he now heads.

With Lionel Messi making Liga history with his hat-trick against Sevilla FC on Saturday, focuses on the top ten goalscorers from the Spanish top flight, and looks at how the Argentina striker's numbers stand up against the best.

Key: Number of appearances in brackets

1. Lionel Messi, 253 (289) – FC Barcelona
In a month where the Argentina forward equalled Raúl González's record of 71 UEFA Campions League strikes, the exciting attacker – who this season scored his 400th goal while wearing the Blaugrana – achieved yet another record as he overtook Telmo Zarra as the all-time top scorer in Liga history.

It has taken Messi five fewer seasons than it took Zarra to reach the milestone in a career that, at just 27, has seen him pick up six Liga titles, three UEFA Champions Leagues and two UEFA Super Cups, amongst a great deal of individual accolades, including four FIFA Ballons d'Or, three Pichichi and the Golden Ball for the best player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

2. Zarra, 251 (278) – Athletic Club
Forward Zarra spent his entire top-level playing career with the Basque side, and is the club's all-time highest goalscorer. His 251 goal record, which Messi has gone on to break, stood for almost six decades in Spain's top flight and earned him a place in Spanish football folklore. His 38 goals in the 1950/51 campaign was a record only matched only by Hugo Sánchez and bettered by Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. Following the record six-time Pichichi winner's death in 2006, newspaper Marca created an award in his honour – the Zarra Trophy – that is presented to the Liga's highest scoring Spaniard at the end of the season.

©Getty Images

Hugo Sánchez

3. Hugo Sánchez, 234 (347) – Club Atlético de Madrid, Real Madrid CF, Rayo Vallecano de Madrid
Messi aside, Sánchez is the highest placed non-Spaniard on the list. The Mexican helped Atlético to Copa del Rey glory in 1985 as he won the first of his four successive Pichichi trophies. He then joined arch-rivals Real Madrid, winning five consecutive Liga titles and one UEFA Cup between 1986 and 1990. His 38 league goals in 1989/90 matched Zarra's record of the most goals in a Liga season (a record that Ronaldo would go on to surpass in 2011), earning him the Golden Shoe in the process.

4. Raúl González, 228 (550) – Real Madrid CF
Atlético trainee turned Real Madrid legend, Raúl is a figure synonymous with Spanish football throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He spent 16 seasons in the first team at the Santiago Bernabéu, becoming the club's record goalscorer and all-time leading Liga appearance holder, and until Messi no one had matched his UEFA Champions League tally of 71.

His glittering career in the Spanish capital saw him lift six Liga titles, three UEFA Champions Leagues and one UEFA Super Cup, in addition to two Pichichi awards. Upon retiring from international football in 2006, Raúl had amassed 102 caps for Spain, and held the record number of goals for La Roja (44) before David Villa overtook him in 2011.


Alfredo di Stéfano

5. Alfredo di Stéfano, 227 (329) – Real Madrid CF and RCD Espanyol
The Argentine-born Spain international is one of the most highly-decorated players of all time and a legendary figure within global football. Di Stéfano scored in five consecutive European Champion Clubs' Cup finals won by Real Madrid, including a hat trick in 1960's 7-3 demolition of Eintracht Frankfurt as he formed a lethal striking duo with Ferenc Puskás. A winner of the Ballon d'Or in 1957 and 1959, he earned five Pichichi and was also the top goalscorer in the Merengues' history before Raúl González usurped him in 2009.

6. César Rodríguez Álvarez, 223 (353) – FC Barcelona, Granada CF, Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa, Elche CF
In 1939, the prolific forward joined Barcelona, where he was to win five Liga titles. After military service saw him spend two years in Andalusia with Granada, who he helped earn promotion, Rodríguez returned to the Camp de Les Corts and formed part of legendary front line with László Kubala and Tomás 'Moreno' Hernández. The 1948 Pichichi winner was Barça's top scorer for seven successive seasons, then spent a year at Cultural Leonsea, with whom he suffered his only relegation, moving on to Elche after a spell in France. He helped the Ilicitanos earn back-to-back promotions as they earned Liga status, including a spell as player-coach. He was Barcelona's record goalscorer until Messi surpassed him in 2012.

©Getty Images


7. Quini, 219 (448) – Real Sporting de Gijón and FC Barcelona
The Oviedo-born Enrique Castro González, aka Quini, became a star at local rivals Sporting Gijón before signing for Barcelona in 1980. In a 20-year professional career, Quini won the Pichichi five times, and initially decided to call it a day in 1984 while with the Blaugrana, before having a change or heart and returning for a three year spell at his first club in Asturias. He played at two FIFA World Cups (1978 and 1982) and one UEFA Euro (1980) for Spain as he made 35 international appearances, scoring eight goals in total.

8. Pahiño, 210 (278) – RC Celta de Vigo, Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna
Two-time Pichichi winner Manuel Fernández Fernández, aka Pahiño, shot to fame at Celta Vigo alongside Miguel Muñoz, with whom he moved to the Whites in 1948. After five years in the capital Pahiño returned to his native Galicia, this time with Deportivo.

9. Cristiano Ronaldo, 197 (176) - Real Madrid CF
The Portugal captain and current FIFA Ballon d'Or holder has scored at a rate of more than a goal per game since joining the Merengues in 2009. The 29-year-old has gone on to break a variety of records, and has already racked up 20 goals in 11 Liga games this season as he looks to better his 31 Liga strikes last term – which was enough for him win the Trofeo Pichichi award given to the Liga's top goalscorer. He also shared the Golden Shoe for the top goalscorer in Europe with Barcelona new boy Luis Suárez.

10. Mundo, 195 (231) – Valencia CF and CD Alcoyano
Striker Edmundo Suárez, aka Mundo, spent his entire professional playing career in the Valencia region, initially with Valencia and then Alcoyano. During his 11 seasons with Los Blanquinegros, Mundo twice won the Pichichi award en route to becoming the club's record scorer. In 1950 he left for Alcoyano, where he spent a season before hanging up his boots.

Last updated: 23/11/14 0.07CET

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