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Messi becomes first La Liga player to score 500 goals after Real Madrid’s defeat

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Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league Clasico football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2017. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

Lionel Messi was at his record-breaking, breathtaking best on Sunday as a stunning late strike helped Barcelona to Clasico glory over Real Madrid and moved him to 500 goals for the Catalan giants.

A devastating finish, so typical of the Argentine master, put Barca top of LaLiga as they try to overhaul Madrid in a domestic season of capital dominance.

But the strike served to once again highlight Messi’s status as one of the all-time greats as Barca’s record goalscorer became the first LaLiga player to net 500 goals for a single club.

Using Opta data, we break down the stunning statistics behind Messi’s latest mind-blowing milestone.

Meanwhile Andres Iniesta lauded the greatness of game-winner Lionel Messi after Sunday’s dramatic Clasico triumph, with the Barcelona captain still amazed by the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Messi was at the double for Barcelona, scoring in the 92nd minute as the LaLiga titleholders stunned 10-man Real Madrid 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

After equalising in the first half, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi settled the top-of-the-table clash with his 500th goal for Barca.
Running out of superlatives to describe Messi, Iniesta attempted to do so post-match.

“I think the true greatness of Leo is that he never ceases to amaze even after so many years,” he said.

“It is an honour for the club to have him as he is a blessing.”

Barcelona hit back with two unanswered goals via Messi and Ivan Rakitic after Casemiro opened the scoring in the 28th minute.

Rakitic’s 73rd-minute strike, however, was cancelled out by substitute James Rodriguez following Sergio Ramos’ red card before Messi silenced the hosts, whose three-point lead atop the table was erased.

Iniesta added: “We should have made it 3-1 but they had chances too.

“We played well and that wasn’t easy after we lost to Juventus.”

“We had to win, we rushed to mount one more attack and it was important to score when we had the chance,” he added.

“A victory in injury time leaves us incredibly motivated and we are still alive, Real Madrid now has to avoid defeat.”

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