Lionel Messi has had a career full of spectacular achievements with Barcelona, the club where he will begin his fifteenth full season as a professional. So far, Messi has scored 552 goals in 637 games in the Blaugrana shirt. Also, he has assisted on 212 occasions for the Catalan club.
For the 2018/19 season, the Argentine maestro has quite a lot of pressure on his shoulders, especially after Real Madrid completed a hat-trick of UEFA Champions League titles last season. Barcelona, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to advance to the semifinals in each of the previous three years, including the disaster versus Roma in last season’s quarterfinals.
Entering the 2018/19 campaign after a massive disappointment in the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Argentine is aiming to improve his performances in the knockout stages of the biggest competitions.
Last season, Messi scored 45 goals and gave 18 assists in 54 games. The number 10 led the Spanish League in goals for the fifth time in his career with 34 strikes, helping Barcelona clinch a 25th league title and a 30th Copa Del Rey trophy.
With this in mind, we look at the possible records the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner can break in the upcoming 2018/19 season:
1. Most Copa del Rey titles for a single player
Barcelona has dominated the Copa del Rey during Messi’s rise to the top as one of the two greatest players in the world since 2009. The magical Argentine has already won 6 Copa del Rey titles with the club, including the last four in a row, and played the previous five finals of the tournament consecutively.
Messi ranks in second place in the Copa del Rey titles for a single player, along with current teammates Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, and former teammate Andrés Iniesta. If Barcelona reigns supreme for the seventh time in ten years and the fifth time in a row, Messi, alongside Piqué and Busquets, would equal Agustín Gaínza’s seven title wins with Athletic Bilbao between 1943 and 1958.
Even if Messi fails to reign supreme in this year’s domestic cup, and Barcelona make it to the finals, the Argentine legend would play his ninth final of the tournament, which will be the joint-record with Gaínza’s nine finals between 1943 and 1958.
2. Most hat-tricks in La Liga
With Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Spanish football for the Serie a, Lionel Messi has the chance to become the record-setter in La Liga in terms of scoring hat-tricks.
Messi has scored three or more goals on 30 occasions during his career with Barcelona in the Spanish League. Cristiano currently holds the record, having scored his 34th treble back in March for his former employers, Real Madrid.
Messi’s first hat-trick came way back in March 2007, when he scored three goals against eternal rivals Real Madrid in a 3-3 draw at the young age of 19. His best season in terms of hat-tricks during the 2011/12 season when he smashed in eight trebles, helping himself to a record 50 goals in La Liga.
With Messi in his prime, scoring four hat-tricks across the season should not be a very difficult task for the maestro. His most recent hat-trick came against Deportivo La Coruña back in April.
3. Most Pichichis in Spanish history
Athletic Bilbao legend, Telmo Zarra leads the way with six Pichichis (La Liga’s Golden boot award). Messi ranks second in the list, tied with fellow Argentine Alfredo Di Stéfano, Gijon legend: Enrique Castro “Quini,” and Mexican Hugo Sánchez with five trophies apiece.
Messi has won the last two Pichichi trophies with 37 and 34 goals in the 2016/17 season and the 2017/18 respectively. The 5-time Ballon d’Or winner already leads the Spanish League for most goals in history with 383 in 418 games.
If Messi wins the golden boot in the upcoming Spanish season, he will give Barcelona its seventeenth Pichichi trophy in history. Also, another Pichichi for Messi would mean the fourteenth for an Argentinian player in Spanish League history, with Messi being joined on this list by three other players: Di Stéfano (5), Mario Kempes (2), and Juan Antonio Pizzi (1).