Lionel Messi's 700 goals – where does it leave him?

Lionel Messi has joined Cristiano Ronaldo on 700 goals; UEFA.com breaks down the figures and wonders whatever comes next.

Messi's 500 goals – where does it leave him?
Messi's 500 goals – where does it leave him? ©Getty Images

Lionel Messi reached 700 career goals in style on Tuesday, dispatching a Panenka penalty past Jan Oblak in Barcelona's 2-2 Liga draw with Atlético Madrid.

The Argentina forward was unable to help his side avoid a blow in the Liga race, but his 29th goal of 2019/20 took him to a new personal milestone. UEFA.com analyses the figures to see what the 33-year-old can reasonably expect to achieve next.

Career breakdown

114 UEFA Champions League
3 UEFA Super Cup
5 FIFA Club World Cup

441 Liga
53 Spanish Cup
14 Spanish Super Cup

70 Argentina

Total: 700 goals

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way in Europe
Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way in Europe©Getty Images

UEFA Champions League

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's race to become the all-time top scorer in the world's top club competition has been one of the great footballing dramas of the modern age. With 128 goals (129 if you include qualifying), Ronaldo leads the way, with Messi ranked second on 114 (ahead of Real Madrid great Raúl González, who scored 71). Neither can realistically hope to match the goals-per-game average of Bayern hero Gerd Müller, but – two years and 139 days younger than Ronaldo – Messi may have a couple of years to eclipse the Portuguese ace's total.

Watch all of Lionel Messi's Champions League goals
Watch all of Lionel Messi's Champions League goals

UEFA Super Cup

Messi is the joint-leading scorer in UEFA Super Cup games, sharing his place at the head of that leaderboard with Oleh Blokhin, Radamel Falcao, Arie Haan, Terry McDermott, Gerd Müller, François Van der Elst and Rob Rensenbrink. Having netted twice for Ajax in the pre-UEFA 1972 edition of the competition, Haan has a case for putting his tally at five.

FIFA Club World Cup

Messi's tally of five is only good enough for a joint share of third in the all-time list alongside compatriot César Delgado (Monterrey) and Barcelona team-mate Luis Suárez. Ronaldo leads the way on seven, with Gareth Bale one behind on six.

Liga

Messi is far and away the Spanish top flight's all-time top scorer, surpassing Telmo Zarra's mark of 251 in 2014. He is now on 441, 130 ahead of Ronaldo, who was keeping the Argentinian company before his departure to Italy in 2018. Fans of the former Real Madrid man also like to point out that he netted more consistently than Messi throughout his Liga career – at a rate of 1.07 per game (versus 0.92).

Telmo Zarra on target for Athletic Club
Telmo Zarra on target for Athletic Club©Athletic Club

Spanish Cup

Former Athletic Club forward Zarra did not live to see Messi break his all-time Liga scoring record – yet it seems extremely unlikely that the Barcelona man will wrest away the Bilbao great's Copa del Rey benchmark of 81 goals. Messi's haul of 53 leaves him fifth in the all-time list.

Spanish Super Cup

This record looks secure. Messi's haul of 14 is twice as many as the next man on the all-time list, the retired Raúl.

Argentina

Messi surpassed Gabriel Batistuta (56) as Argentina's all-time leading scorer in 2016. His current tally of 70 is good enough for a share of 15th spot among all-time international top scorers. Iran's Ali Daei leads the way with 109, followed by Ronaldo on 99.

Josef Bican with Slavia Praha
Josef Bican with Slavia Praha©SK Slavia Praha

Career total

While it is a huge number, 700 senior goals is not unique. Ronaldo raced past the landmark in October and Messi is the seventh man to do so. The top scorer of all time is generally accepted to be Czech-Austrian legend Josef Bican, whose final haul, albeit including reserve fixtures and games outside the top flight, is around 805. Romário and Pelé both ended their careers with tallies well into the 700s.