Lionel Messi has scored 50 goals for the ninth time in 10 calendar years

FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves  - La Liga

Lionel Messi may have turned 32 in 2019 but he shows no signs of slowing down.

On Saturday afternoon, the Ballon d’Or winner scored his 50th goal for club and country in the calendar year during Barcelona’s 4-1 win against Alaves at the Camp Nou.

Ernesto Valverde’s side were stuttering as they led 2-1 thanks to first-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Arturo Vidal.

But Messi ensured all three points - and he did it in style.

The Argentine picked up the ball 20 yards out and despite being surrounded by SIX opponents, he smashed the ball past Fernando Pacheco.

Fifty goals and counting for the year.

Of course, it’s far from the first time Messi has surpassed half a century in a single year.

In fact, it’s the ninth time he’s achieved it in the last 10 years.

Take a look at his yearly breakdown:

2010: 60
2011: 59
2012: 91
2013: 45
2014: 58
2015: 52
2016: 59
2017: 54
2018: 51
2019: 50

Ridiculous.

Can he hit 50 goals in 2020 - the year in which he turns 33?

After notching his 50th goal of the calendar year, Messi then allowed Luis Suarez to get on the scoresheet after Barca won a penalty.

Suarez had registered a hat-trick of assists and was given the perfect opportunity to get himself a goal - which he duly obliged.

FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves  - La Liga

It's a gesture that Messi is renowned for. It's something that he's done on numerous occasions before and even his Argentine teammate Lautaro Martinez has revealed how generous Messi is.

“For us Argentines, Leo is as important as Maradona was,” Martinez told La Repubblica.

“It’s something that goes beyond football. He is the best in the world; playing with him in the national team is a privilege.

FC Barcelona v Inter: Group F - UEFA Champions League

“He is generous; he shows me his movements, he teaches me to find spaces that apparently do not exist.

“[Winning the World Cup with Messi] would be wonderful. He got very close to it. He has come close to the Copa America, playing three finals.

“Messi as world champion, together with his team-mates, would be a great thing for all Argentina.”

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