Messi Climbs Football History Ladder
Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi has climbed football's history ladder, following their triumph in the Copa del Rẹy final over Athletic Bilbao to become the second most decorated football player in history.
The Argentine, whose future was the subject of debate throughout the last summer transfer window goes tied on level with former teammates, Andreas Iniesta and Maxwell with 37 titles.
Messi handed in a transfer request in the summer, following claims that former president, Josep Bartomeu had deceived the club's all-time record goal scorer.
For the first time in almost a lifetime, a hitherto quiet Lionel Messi granted an interview where he was outspoken about his decision to leave the Catalan club following a strain in relationship with Bartomeu.
Eventually, the former World Player of The Year stayed on at the Catalan club in what may be his last season in the Spanish La Liga.
With the re-election of former president, Joan Laporta, however, it remains to be seen if Messi will be willing to remain at the club after the newly-elected president promised to transform the fortunes of the club, amidst its huge debt crisis.
In a season that has been riddled with a lot of unwanted drama and disappointing performances for the Spanish giant, culminating in their ouster in the knockout stage of the Champions League in the hands of last season's finalist, PSG, they are currently back in the title race, five points adrift of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.
The Copa del Rey victory may be a consolation for the club, should they be unable to topple Atletico and fend off Real Madrid in the three horse title race.
Messi scored a brace in the 4-0 victory to claim his 7th Copa del Rey and 37th overall title. 10 La Liga titles, 8th Spanish Super Cup, 4 Champions League titles, 3 UEFA Super Cup and World Club Cup each, an Olympic Gold Medal and an U-20 World Cup, make up his 37 haul of titles. He will need 6 more titles to become number one.
Former teammate and ex-Brazil international, Dani Alves holds the record for the most decorated football player in history with 42 trophies. Ryan Giggs - 36, Sir Kenny Dalglish, Gerard Pique - 35, Vitor Baia - 34, Xavi Hernandez and Cristiano Ronaldo - 33 each, make up the top 10.