Copy of 2023-04-15T194316Z_1654761791_UP1EJ4F1IS2AD_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-FRANCE-PSG-LEN-REPORT-1681630636014
Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi (left) celebrates with Kylian Mbappe. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Paris Saint Germain’s star forward Lionel Messi has been making headlines lately by achieving multiple milestones in his illustrious career. The 35-year-old recently notched up 1,000 club goal contributions against Nice earlier this month and last night he inched closer to breaking another impressive record.

He was on target against Lens to bring his total to 495 goals in Europe’s top five leagues - the same as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Third goal

Messi contributed the third goal of the game for PSG, finishing a move he initiated himself. Kylian Mbappe delivered a spectacular assist for the goal. Along with Messi, Mbappe and Vitinha also scored in the match, leading PSG to a 3-1 victory in their crucial Ligue 1 clash.

The Argentine’s impressive performance continued his remarkable form this season. He has scored 21 goals and provided 18 assists in 34 matches across all competitions. With the win, PSG, led by Christophe Galtier, extended their lead over Lens by nine points, bringing their total to 72 points from 31 matches.

Messi has scored 495 goals so far, 474 with Barcelona and 21 with PSG, earning him seven Ballon d’Or awards. Ronaldo, on the other hand, has tallied 495 goals, 311 with Real Madrid, 103 with Manchester United, and 81 with Juventus.

Barcelona return

In PSG’s upcoming Ligue 1 fixture against Angers on April 21, Messi will have a golden opportunity to break the record. The Argentine is expected to partner with Kylian Mbappe upfront in PSG’s potential 3-5-2 formation on matchday 32.

As for his future, reports suggest that he is likely to leave PSG this summer and make a return to Barcelona, where he became a footballing legend. He has also been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia club Al Hilal and many would love to see that happen so he can rekindle his rivalry with Ronaldo who plays for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League.

Messi’s time at PSG has not been all smooth sailing. When the Ligue 1 defending champions suffered their seventh defeat of the season at home to Lyon two weeks ago, some PSG fans expressed their displeasure with the Argentine by whistling and booing his name when it was announced.

Jeered and whistled

That was the second time this season that this has happened. He was targeted by supporters who jeered and whistled at him during the Ligue 1 match against Rennes which PSG lost 2-0 last month.

Meanwhile during Barca’s recent match against Girona, fans chanted his name. This followed a similar incident during the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.

There is potential for him to return to his boyhood club after his father and agent, Jorge Messi, met with Barca president Joan Laporta to begin preliminary talks.