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Messi makes 500th La Liga appearance for Barcelona

04-Jan-2021, 03:12 am

Lionel Messi Barcelona

Lionel Messi made his 500th La Liga appearance and 750th in all competitionsfor Barcelona in Sunday's meetingwith Huesca after returning to Ronald Koeman'sstarting line-up.

However, Koeman confirmed on Saturday that the 33-year-old had trained on during the week, and Messi has subsequently returned to Barca's starting XIfor a landmark outing atEstadio El Alcoraz.

Messi's500 league appearancesfor Barcais five short of the club record held by former team-mate Xavi, who also holds the record for all-time appearances for the Blaugrana with 767.

Xavi's total is 17 more than Messi's current tally of 750, including Sunday's game.

He is only the second player, and thefirst born outside of Spain, to reach the landmark for Barca, with Andres Iniesta completing the podium having made 442 La Liga appearances during his time at Camp Nou.

The record for the most matches ever played in La Liga is held by former goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta, with 662 games under his belt for Athletic Club, Barca and Valencia.

Barca make the trip to Huesca unbeaten in five league matches, but they have drawn two of their last three and enter the game 13 points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, who benefited from a last-minute winner from Luis Suarez to beat Alaves earlier on Sunday.

Messi was sorely missed last week, when he watched from the stands as the Catalans were held 1-1 at home to Eibar to fall further off the pace at the top of the table.

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