Five of the best: Lionel Messi goals

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Lionel Messi moved a step closer to becoming Barcelona's all-time top goalscorer when he registered his 231st strike for the Catalan club in the weekend victory against Sevilla.

Only Cesar Rodriguez sits above the 24-year-old in the annals of Barca history; having scored 235 times between 1942 and 1955 - a record that is surely set to fall imminently.

Messi now has 51 goals in 44 appearances this season, and his latest was characteristically glorious, as he nutmegged the Sevilla full-back and lifted the ball over a bamboozled Andres Palop.

Having witnessed another piece of magic from the Argentine, GMF has decided to trawl the archives and highlight five of our favourite Messi goals...

Sevilla 0-2 Barcelona - March 17, 2012

Messi's effort against Sevilla on Saturday really was exquisite, as Barca cruised to a 2-0 win over Los Rojiblancos at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Xavi had put Pep Guardiola's side in front with a fine goal of his own - curling a delicious free-kick into the top corer of Andres Palop's net.

A strike of such quality would often be considered the goal of the game - or perhaps even the weekend - but Messi managed to trump the effort of the midfield maestro.

Exchanging passes with Andres Iniesta on the edge of the Sevilla box, Messi advances into the box, plays the ball between the legs of Emir Spahic's then clips the ball beyond the reach of Palop in customary fashion. Watch the goal here.

Barcelona 5-2 Getafe - April 18, 2007

'Messi scores Maradona's goal' declared the Spanish dailies following this stunning effort against Getafe in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey almost five years ago.

The similarity between this strike and Diego Maradona's against England in the 1986 World Cup really are quite remarkable, both visibly and statistically.

At the Aztec Stadium, Maradona covered a distance of 62 metres in little over ten seconds while, at the Nou Camp, Messi carried the ball over 60 metres in an almost identical time.

Both players touched the ball 13 times, and both left six opponents trailing in their wake - providing the decisive touch after streaking past the final player.

Which is better? It really is difficult to decide. But you can have a go yourself by watching Messi's here and Maradona's here.

Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United - May 27, 2009

Ok, so this goal against Manchester United is far from spectacular, but it is one of the most significant Messi has scored during his career, as he secured victory for Barcelona in the final of the Champions League.

Standing at 5ft6in, it is not often that Messi registers a headed goal but the Argentina international showed impressive aerial prowess to double Barca's advantage in Rome.

As Xavi carries the ball towards the edge of the Manchester United box, he spots Messi peel away from his marker Rio Ferdinand, and chips towards the back post.

Messi then leaps majestically, and steers a perfect header across Edwin van der Sar and into the far corner of the Dutch goalkeeper's net. Watch the goal here.

Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona - April 21, 2011

As has often been the case since Jose Mourinho took charge at the Santiago Bernabeu, this clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona was a spectacle full of cheating and fighting rather than class and finesse.

Messi, though, provided a moment of inspiration as the minutes ticked down in Madrid to all but guarantee his side a place in the final of the Champions League.

Having put Barca ahead after 76 minutes, Messi put the result beyond doubt with a breathtaking effort with only three minutes remaining.

Picking the ball up near the centre-circle, Messi - as he so often does - streaked past five Madrid players with real verve and provided a delightful finish to beat Iker Casillas. Watch the goal here.

Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal - March 8, 2011

Messi was the benefactor from a mistake of now teammate but then Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, who played an inexplicable backheel which allowed Barca to regain possession on the edge of the Gunners box.

Xavi collected the loose ball, and found Messi who had worked some room to the right of a narrow Arsenal back four, and quickly discovered himself one on one with Manuel Almunia.

Messi takes one touch with his left foot to bring the ball under his control then, as Almunia approaches, delicately lifts the ball over the Arsenal goalkeeper, before volleying into an empty net. Watch the goal here.


So there you are - five of our favourite Messi goals. But we want your input too. Let us know in the comments section below which Messi goals would feature in a list of your favourites.

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