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Lionel Messi marks record-equalling 767th appearance with brace in Barcelona win

Spain Soccer La Liga
(Image credit: Joan Monfort)

Lionel Messi scored a brace on his record-equalling 767th appearance for Barcelona in a comprehensive 4-1 LaLiga victory over Huesca.

The 33-year-old scored his side’s first and fourth goals as Barca climbed into second place in the table to move within four points of league leaders Atletico Madrid.

Messi matched Xavi’s all-time appearance record in the Barcelona shirt, a career which includes winning 34 trophies and now scoring 661 goals since he made his debut in 2004, with 27 so far this season.

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In typical fashion of the Argentinian forward, Messi put Barcelona ahead in the 13th minute.

He took a touch before unleashing a curled shot from 20 yards, which hit the underside of the crossbar before going past goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez.

Barcelona doubled their lead in the 34th minute with Antoine Griezmann scoring in almost identical fashion to Messi’s opener, a curled finish into the top corner.

In the final moments of the first half, Huesca were awarded a penalty on VAR review for a foul on Rafa Mir, who also dispatched the spot-kick into the corner to halve the home side’s advantage.

Messi has scored 661 goals for Barcelona since his debut in 2004

Messi has scored 661 goals for Barcelona since making his debut in 2004 (Joan Monfort/AP)

Messi then turned provider for Barcelona’s third, crossing from the left to Oscar Mingueza who headed the ball into the net from close range for his maiden club goal.

Huesca almost pulled another goal back when Mir found himself in the six-yard box as the ball came across the face of goal, but he mistimed his jump and the ball rebounded off his chest and over the top.

Messi completed his double at the death as he cut inside before sending another strike from outside the box into the back of the net to cap his record-levelling appearance with two goals and one assist, as Huesca remain bottom of the table and four points from safety.