BARCELONA, Spain (AP) —Lionel Messi took his all-time Spanish league scoring record to 400 goals on Sunday after contributing to a 3-0 win over Eibar to keep defending champion Barcelona comfortably at the top.
Messi scored Barcelona’s second goal shortly after halftime to reach a milestone in the competition after 435 league matches. Former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second all-time in La Liga with 311 goals.
In all competitions, Barcelona says the 31-year-old Messi has scored an astonishing 575 goals in 658 appearances.
Barcelona’s all-time top scorer got the landmark goal in the 53rd minute after Luis Suarez passed to him inside Eibar’s area. The Argentine did the rest by opening an angle around a defender and driving in a low left-footed shot.
It was also Messi’s league-leading 17th league goal and his 23rd goal overall this season.
“He should be proud,” said Suarez, who scored Barcelona’s other two goals. “Game after game he shows what a great player he is. I am happy for him and for the history that he is writing for this club.”
Barcelona stayed five points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, which edged Levante 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Antoine Griezmann, as the league reached its midway point.
Real Madrid lost Karim Benzema to a right-hand injury in a 2-1 win at Real Betis to stay 10 points back in fourth place. -AP News