Lionel Messi has been quiet for four years as the top scorer in the Spanish league since he topped Telmo Zarra’s 253 goals in November 2014. On Sunday, he racked up his personal account by reaching 400 goals in the competition.
But he is deceived who thinks that there are no other marks to reach in the horizon of the shirt 10 of the Barcelona. The Argentine now targets the other national championships in Europe. Today, he is the fifth highest scorer in a local league, but already with second place in the goal line.
According to the Uefa website, only four players, who played in the first half of the 20th century, overcame the 400-goal barrier in the same national championship. In fourth place is Stjepan Bobek, who scored 403 goals in the former Yugoslavian Championship between 1945 and 1958. With 410 in the Scottish Championship, Jimmy McGrory, who played between 1922 and 1938, is the third on the list, just one goal behind the Hungarian Imre Schlosser, who played a century before Messi between 1905 and 1922. All three can be surpassed this season, it is enough that the Argentine maintains the current average good.
Top scorers in a single national championship in Europe:
Josef Bican (Austrian) – 500 goals in the former Championship of Czechoslovakia (1937 to 1955)
Imre Schlosser (Hungarian) – 412 goals in the Hungarian Championship (1905 to 1922)
Jimmy McGrory (Scottish) – 411 goals in the Scottish Championship (1922 to 1938)
Stjepan Bobek (Yugoslavian / Croatian) – 403 goals in the former Yugoslav Championship (1945 to 1958)
Lionel Messi (Argentine) – 400 goals in the Spanish Championship (since 2004, still in activity)
Messi is the top scorer of the Spanish 2018/19, with 17 goals after 19 matches. Nor do you need to repeat the performance on the return to score another 12 and leave behind the 411 of Imre Schlosser. Since the 2009/10 season, Barça’s Argentine has scored less than 28 goals in Spanish in 2015/16 when he made 26. In the last two seasons, he was the top scorer of the competition with 37 goals in 2016/17 and 34 in 2017/18.
Overcoming Bobek, McGrory, and Schlosser, Messi will only have one player on the way to be the top scorer of a single national championship in Europe. But then the challenge will be in the medium term. Still, according to the Uefa website, the record belongs to the Austrian Josef Bican, who scored incredible 500 goals in the former Czechoslovak Championship between 1937 and 1955. Even with the high annual average, Messi, who will be 32 in June, would need of at least three more seasons on the same level to reach Bican. Does anyone doubt?