Lionel Messi at 30: his career in 30 facts

As Lionel Messi celebrates his 30th birthday, we pay tribute by coming up with a remarkable statistic or record for each of his years on this earth – we don't have to look too far!

Lionel Messi at 30: his career in 30 facts
Lionel Messi at 30: his career in 30 facts ©

1: First senior goal – on 1 May 2005 – came for Barcelona as a late substitute in a Liga game against Albacete; to the manner born, the 17-year-old chipped in impudently.

2: Second-highest scorer in European Cup history – group stage to final – with 94 goals.

3: Messi has hit 37 hat-tricks for Barcelona.

4: Number of UEFA Champions League winners' medals in his collection, together with eight Liga titles and five Copa del Reys.

5: Goals Messi scored against Bayer Leverkusen in one UEFA Champions League last-16 game in 2012 (a record shared with Luiz Adriano).

Messi’s first 86 European goals
Messi’s first 86 European goals

6: Messi found the net in six different club competitions in 2011, repeating the feat in 2015.

7: Most UEFA Champions League hat-tricks (a feat shared with Cristiano Ronaldo).

8: Consecutive seasons that he has notched 40 goals or more for Barcelona.

9: Goals short of 100 for Messi in the calendar year 2012, with a world record 91.

10: Messi wore the No19 shirt when he broke into the Barcelona team before inheriting the No10 in 2008 following Ronaldinho's departure.

11: Messi was nearly 11 when his grandmother died. She is the inspiration for his trademark celebration, looking up and pointing to the sky.

All Messi’s Champions League hat-tricks
All Messi’s Champions League hat-tricks

12: Most goals scored for Argentina in a calendar year, 2012, a record he shares with Gabriel Batistuta.

13: Age at which he left his native Argentina to join Barcelona.

14: Number of goals Messi has struck at the Santiago Bernabéu, second only to the Camp Nou at club level.

15: Most Liga away matches with a goal in a single season (he also holds the record for home games, with 16).

16: Messi was 16 years, four months, and 23 days old when he made his Barça first-team debut in a friendly against José Mourinho's Porto; his 15-minute cameo saw him create two openings and have a shot himself.

17: Record number of goals registered in the Spanish Super Cup, across six different seasons.

Messi’s first UEFA Champions League goal
Messi’s first UEFA Champions League goal

18: Age when Messi bagged his first UEFA Champions League goal, nervelessly lifting the ball over the keeper and firing in against Panathinaikos.

19: Messi is the only player to score consecutively against all 19 opposition teams in the Liga.

20: Messi has plundered 20+ goals against six opponents over the course of his career, including the rest of last season's Liga top six.

21: Longest goalscoring run in the Liga set in 2012/13, amassing 33 goals during that sequence of matches.

22: Age when he claimed the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards by record voting margins.

23: Goals scored in the Clásico, five more than Alfredo di Stéfano and seven more than Ronaldo.

2009 final highlights: Barcelona 2-0 Man. United
2009 final highlights: Barcelona 2-0 Man. United

24: Age at which he became Barcelona's all-time top scorer.

25: Major finals he has contested over the years ...

26: ... and the number of goals he has struck in them.

27: Goals converted direct from a free-kick for the Blaugrana.

28: Messi became the youngest South American to reach 100 caps four days short of his 28th birthday.

29: Goals Messi has notched so far against favourite opponents Sevilla; on the European stage Arsenal have the unwanted honour (nine).

30: Years on the clock!