BARCELONA (Reuters) – Barcelona forward Lionel Messi struck a remarkable 600th professional goal for club and country on Sunday by scoring the opener in his side’s Liga clash at home to nearest challengers Atletico Madrid.
The Argentine slammed a free kick right into the near top corner in the 26th minute to break the deadlock in the top-of-the-table clash and put league leaders Barca 1-0 up at halftime, scoring from a set piece for the third game running.
Messi is the leading scorer in La Liga this season with 24 goals and is also the all-time top marksman in Spain’s top flight. He is also the top scorer in the history of Barcelona and Argentina.
The Argentine, 30, has scored 539 goals for Barca in all competitions and 61 for his country.