Lionel Messi is set to make his 500th appearance for Barcelona tonight against Real Betis – and that’s the story dominating the Spanish press.
Both Mundo Deportivo and Sport lead on the Argentine as he prepares to reach the milestone when Barcelona returns to La Liga action at the Nou Camp tonight.
Mundo Deportivo describe the feat as ‘500 magic nights’ for the most prolific player in the history of the club, while also using a picture of Messi posing with a special commemorative shirt.
Messi has scored 424 goals, won La Liga seven times and the Champions League four times during his Barcelona career, so it’s no surprise to see both publications highlighting the Betis clash.
And Sport probably sum up feelings around Messi the best, simply using the heading: ‘Y que cumplas muchos mas’, which translates as ‘and lets hope there will be more.’
Messi has won 26 pieces of silverware with the Catalan club and they are in a good position to add to that tally in the coming months.
FC Barcelona sits top of the league with a game in hand over second-placed Atletico Madrid and will also be confident of beating Arsenal in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Cup glory could also come Barca way with Espanyol still to play in the Spanish cup with the last-16 clash coming up in early January.
The Spanish league takes a break over the winter, but Messi has kept that winning feeling going by scooping the ‘Best Player of the Year’ award at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.
La Liga giants Barcelona, who won a historic treble last season, were also named ‘Best Club of the Year’, while chief Josep Maria Bartomeu was awarded the ‘Best President of the Year’ accolade.