FOOTBALL: Lionel Messi Scores 500th Career Goal

Lionel Messi continues to chalk up milestone after milestone on the football pitch, and the Barcelona forward has added another achievement to his already impressive career.

Scoring against Valencia in Wednesday's first-leg Copa del Rey match, a 7-0 win for Barca at Camp Nou, Messi reached 500 career goals.
The Argentinian star needed only 74 minutes to register a hat-trick against Valencia, first finding the back of the net in the 29th minute and following up again in the 59th, giving Barca a 4-0 lead. Messi's third goal gave his side a 5-0 advantage. Match ball in hand, he praised his squad after the match, per Barcelona's Twitter account
"With Messi and (Luis) Suarez we are amazed every day," said Barca winger Aleix Vidal, per the club's official site.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Messi's four hat-tricks against Valencia are his most against any one club. Online gambling company Bwin felt sorry for Valencia manager Gary Neville, who will only be under more pressure after Wednesday's match.
According to Transfermarkt, Messi has now found the back of the net 494 times in 626 matches as a senior player for both his club andnational team. Scoring once every two matches is generally considered a solid goal return, so Messi's goal ratio is almost superhuman.
Messi needs no more accolades to be considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. His scoring rate, combined with individual trophy haul, are nearly unparalleled. If anything, he might spoil fans' expectations for the generations of footballers to come.
Scoring 1,000 goals would seemingly be implausible for Messi, but he has made the unthinkable look routine throughout his career. If he can play long enough, he may just match Pele's feat.

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