It’s painful to accept but it’s time to look back at the Barcelona career of Lionel Messi knowing he’ll probably never play for the club again.
President Joan Laporta has already quashed talk of Barça shuffling their finances in an attempt to keep their all-time record goalscorer at the club, and so it’s time to let it go and look back at Messi’s final knockings as a Barcelona player.
From his last goal to his last trophy, 90min has taken a look at every ‘last’ from Messi in a Barcelona shirt…
Messi’s final game for Barcelona saw his time at the club end on a bit of a sour note as his side were beaten 2-1 by Celta Vigo on 16 May 2021.
Despite taking an early lead Barça were pegged back thanks to Mina Lorenzo’s goal on the stoke of half time.
After Frenchman Clement Lenglet was shown a late red card, the visitors surged forward in search of an unlikely winner, and Lorenzo’s second of the game saw Celta Vigo come away from Camp Nou with all three points on what would turn out to be Messi’s last appearance for Barça.
Obviously the main thing we’ll always remember from Messi’s time with Barcelona is the astonishing amount of goals he clocked up.
Not only did Barcelona’s clash with Celta Vigo represent Messi’s last game for the club, naturally it saw him notch his last goal – because that’s just what he does.
The superstar forward latched onto Sergio Busquets’ pinpoint delivery to head his side into the lead, but as we’ve already discussed the match went downhill from there for Barcelona.
Messi was much more than just a goalscorer during his time at Barcelona and he racked up a ridiculous amount of assists for the club during his 17 years with the senior side.
His final assist in a Barcelona shirt came on 22 April of this year as his corner was powered home by Ronald Araujo to put Ronald Koeman’s side 4-2 up against Getafe at Camp Nou.
Barcelona fans may well yet get to experience the delights of watching Messi play live – but if they do he’ll be wearing another club’s shirt.
The last time Messi played in front of the Barça was well over a year ago back on 7 March 2020, with fans since unable to attend games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Naturally he scored in what was to be his final outing in front of his adoring fans, notching the only goal of the game as his side beat Real Sociedad 1-0.
Having only had to look at Messi’s last appearance for Barcelona to find his last goal for the club, it’s no surprise that we didn’t have to go too far back to find his last brace.
The Argentina international bagged a double for Koeman’s side against Valencia on 2 May 2021, with his goals proving crucial to earning the three points in a 3-2 win at the Mestalla.
It goes to show just how good he is that we were amazed to find out Messi hadn’t scored a hat-trick for Barcelona for over a year – what’s he been playing at?
The former Blaugrana captain’s last three-goal haul for the club was actually a four-goal haul as he grabbed all but one of his side’s strikes in a thumping 5-0 win over Eibar on 22 February 2020.
Another ‘last’ that we didn’t have to go searching too far to find.
Messi’s last trophy for Barcelona came towards the back end of his final campaign with the club, and he was obviously instrumental in the winning of said trophy as he scored twice in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club on 17 April 2021.
Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong completed the scoring as Koeman’s side ran out comfortable winners in the showpiece event.
You may think it’s a bit odd that we’ve pinpointed the Champions League out of all the competitions Messi competed in with Barcelona, but their inability to compete in Europe’s premier competition is rumoured to be one of the reasons Messi started to become unhappy at Camp Nou.
Barcelona’s last Champions League triumph came all the way back in 2015, and while six years may not seem like a long time to wait to be crowned champions of Europe, it is for a club like Barça when rivals Real Madrid were having a field day in the competition in the following years.
Messi’s side beat Juventus in the 2015 final in Berlin, with goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar enough to secure a 3-1 win.