ionel Messi reached yet another milestone on Wednesday, when he struck his 300th La Liga goal for Barcelona.
Big things were expected of the diminutive Argentine ever since he made his debut for the Catalan giants as a 16-year-old, and even though he had to wait for 18 months more before he opened his scoring account, his talent was never in question.
We look back through the years at some of his other milestones in La Liga.
1st goal – vs Albacete (May 1, 2005)
Two months before his 18th birthday, Messi opened his La Liga account against Albacete. Having had a goal ruled out for offside earlier in the match, Messi would make no mistake when put into space by a lovely scooped ball from Ronaldinho, cleverly chipping the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.
50th goal – vs Malaga (March 22, 2009)
Messi produced an absolute classic to bring up 50 league goals. Fielding the ball on the right flank, the Argentine ace chested the ball down before cutting inside and beating two defenders before firing the ball into the roof of the net.
100th goal – vs Almeria (November 20, 2010)
Messi picked up numbers 99 and 100 in an 8-0 thrashing of Almeria. Pedro provided the assist for Messi’s 100th, squaring the ball after bursting into the penalty area, with Messi on hand to put away the rebound after his initial effort had been saved.
After an exchange of passes with Andres Iniesta, Messi danced into the penalty area, nutmegging a defender before executing a perfectly-weighted chip over keeper Andres Palop. It was a thing of beauty.
200th goal – vs Osasuna (January 27, 2013)
This milestone goal completed a hat-trick on the night for Messi who would go on to score a fourth for good measure. Having played the ball to David Villa on the left, Messi picked up the return ball and rounded the keeper with a neat touch with the outside of his left foot before firing home.
250th goal – vs Eibar (October 18, 2014)
Messi picked up the ball inside his own half, darted past two defenders before playing a neat one-two with Neymar, had a quick look up before planting the ball into the far corner.
300th goal – vs Sporting Gijon (February 17, 2015)
The only goal in this particular collection that was struck from long range. Messi picked up the ball, dropped his shoulder and pulled the trigger with a low effort into the corner.