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Lionel Messi will equal a Barcelona legend’s appearance total against Sporting Lisbon

The Argentine maestro will take to the field for the 593rd time in a Barcelona shirt

We don’t want to live in a world where Lionel Messi isn’t terrorising defences on a weekly basis.

Because, let’s be honest, he’s a consistent and reliable source of joy in the face of dystopian doom and gloom.


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Messi scored a stunning 54 goals for Barcelona last season

AFP
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Messi is showing no signs of slowing down

Messi has been a Barcelona regular for over 12 years now and is showing absolutely zero indication that his powers are fading after smashing 12 club goals already this season.

And the 30-year-old is in line to draw level with a true Barcelona legend on 593 appearances against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

When you think of inspirational and iconic Barca defenders from the last few generations, Carles Puyol should be the first name that comes to mind.

La Masia graduates Sergio Busquets, Xaxi, Carles Puyol and Bojan in 2009

Getty Images
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Puyol developed from the famed La Masia academy

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The Spaniard wore the Catalan shirt with immense pride and captained them to six La Liga titles, three Champions League wins and two Copa del Rey victories between 2004 and 2011.

But Puyol will have to say goodbye to third place in the Barcelona record appearances stakes with Messi set to overtake him by the end of the week.

The Argentine will then have Andres Iniesta in his sights on 637, although the current Barca captain is still a regular fixture in the side so should maintain the cushion.

The Dutch youngster is named after Barca legend Xavi Hernandez

Corbis
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Xavi’s appearance record looks potentially unassailable

He is still some way off record appearance holder Xavi Hernandez though, who registered a mammoth 767.

Still, unless Manchester City decide to dice with his mammoth release clause in the coming years, you’d expect Messi to at least threaten that total.