A historic night in Rome for the Argentinian superstar

Wednesday's game at the Stadio Olimpico against AS Roma was the 100th for Leo Messi in the Champions League. The Argentinian, who is the second top goalscorer in the competition with 77 goals, reached his century of appearances in the same place where his headed goal off a Xavi cross helped the team on the way to victory against Manchester United in 2009.

That was the first of three finals that Messi has played in, and the first of two in which he scored. In 2011 he also found the net against United, this time at Wembley, but was not on the scoresheet against Juventus last season. He also has a winner’s medal from 2006, when Barça beat Arsenal in Paris, although he was forced to sit that game out after getting injured in the semi-final with Chelsea.

Magic moments

Messi’s love affair with the Champions League began on 7 December 2004 on a cold night in Donetsk with Rijkaard on the bench as coach. Barça lost 2-0 that night, but had already qualified for the knockout phase. The Argentinian scored his first goal in the competition on 2 November 2005, the third of a 5-0 demolition of Panathinaikos at the Camp Nou.

Messi, who has been the top scorer in the Champions League an incredible five times, has scored 48 goals in his 100 games in the competition to date. That's almost a goal every two games. He’s scored twice in the same match no fewer than 16 times and has netted three hat tricks. His most memorable goals include both in the 2-0 defeat of Real Madrid in the semi-finals of 2010/11 and two wonderful strikes against Bayern Munich in the semi-final first leg last season at the Camp Nou.

Record goals in a game

His most spectacular night on the European stage was in the round of 16 of 2011/12 against Bayer Leverkusen. He scored five times in that game, a tally only Luiz Adriano can also claim to have achieved over 90 minutes. Two years earlier, in the quarter finals of 2009/10, Messi had scored four times against Arsenal.

To commemorate his 100 games in the Champions League, the newspaper Mundo Deportivo prepared a special edition. And here you can enjoy a ‘making of’ video of the photo shoot.