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Leo Messi continues to set the benchmark at Barça. Named in the starting line-up against Real Sociedad, the Argentinian has therefore added another special record to his collection; setting a club record of 768 appearances in a Barça shirt.
The figure means he has surpassed the mark of 767 set by Xavi Hernández, the midfielder who made his final appearance in a Barça shirt some five and a half years ago.
In 1960 goalkeeper Antoni Ramallets was the first to move past César Rodríguez's total of 355 games for Barça. Three years later Joan Segarra set a new record of 404 games in official competition. In 1979 Carles Rexach reached Segarra's total of 449 and then in 1986 Migueli set a new high with 549 appearances.
Figures updated 22 March 2021
The new generation lead by Valdés, Puyol, Iniesta and Xavi saw new faces rack up impressive totals with Messi, Piqué and Sergio Busquets also coming through. On 5 January 2011 Xavi Hernández made his 550th appearance in a Barça shirt, taking Migueli's record before setting a new high of 767 matches. Sooner or later, however, that record would be Messi's.
Six competitions, 768 matches
The 768 games played so far by Leo Messi are divided into a total of six different competitions. La Liga is the competition with the most matches, with Messi playing a total of 511 in the Spanish top flight. As for the Champions League, he has played 149 games, while 79 have come in in the Copa del Rey, 20 in the Spanish Super Cup, five in the Club World Cup and four in the European Super Cup.
No place like home
Of these 768 games, a total of 376 have been at the Camp Nou, while 373 have been away fixtures. He has also played 19 games at neutral venues. If we break down Messi's appearances by seasons, the campaign where he played the most games (60) was 2011/12
From one legend to another
Xavi Hernández set his record five-and-a-half years ago, in the last of his 17 seasons with the club. Along the way, he won 27 trophies with FC Barcelona, in a club career that began on August 18, 1998.
Now, however, he makes way for one of his most prolific former team-mates, with whom he linked up during a highly successful period in club history. Leo Messi is now FC Barcelona's all-time appearance record holder.
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