Lionel Messi has added another special record to his collection; setting a Club record of 767 appearances in a Barcelona shirt.
The figure, for the moment, equals that set by Xavi Hernández, the midfielder who made his final appearance in a Barça shirt some five and a half years ago.
In 1960, goalkeeper Antoni Ramallets was the first to move past César Rodríguez’s total of 355 games for Barça. Three years later Joan Segarra set a new record of 404 games in official competition. In 1979, Carles Rexach reached Segarra’s total of 449 and then in 1986 Migueli set a new high with 549 appearances.
The new generation lead by Valdés, Puyol, Iniesta and Xavi saw new faces rack up impressive totals with Messi, Piqué and Sergio Busquets also coming through.
On 5 January 2011 Xavi Hernández made his 550th appearance in a Barça shirt, taking Migueli’s record before setting a new high of 767 matches. Sooner or later, however, that record would be Messi’s.
The 767 games played so far by Leo Messi are divided into a total of six different competitions. La Liga is the competition with the most matches, with Messi playing a total of 510 in the Spanish top flight. As for the Champions League, he has played 149 games, while 79 have come in in the Copa del Rey, 20 in the Spanish Super Cup, five in the Club World Cup and four in the European Super Cup.
Of these 766 games, a total of 375 have been at the Camp Nou, while 372 have been away fixtures. He has also played 19 games at neutral venues. If we break down Messi’s appearances by seasons, the campaign where he played the most games (60) was 2011/12.
Xavi Hernández set his record five-and-a-half years ago, in the last of his 17 seasons with the club. Along the way, he won 27 trophies with FC Barcelona, in a club career that began on August 18, 1998.
He now makes way for one of his most prolific former teammates, with whom he linked up during a highly successful period in club history. Leo Messi is now FC Barcelona’s all-time appearance record holder.