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Lionel Messi netted the opener for Paris Saint-Germain against Nantes on Saturday as the seven-time Ballon d’Or hit yet another remarkable career milestone.

The 35-year-old got on the end of Nuno Mendes’ deflected cross to poke the ball into the back of the net beyond Alban Lafont. It was a terrific first-time finish from Messi, who celebrated with the rest of his PSG teammates as he reached a mind-blowing landmark.

Messi’s strike against Nantes was the 1000th goal he has either scored or assisted in his club career – almost 20 years since his first contribution while playing for Barcelona.

Breaking the statistic down, Messi has scored 701 goals and chipped in with 299 assists in that time for Barca and PSG since his debut in 2004.

To put that achievement into context, Cristiano Ronaldo has 912 goals or assists in his club career since breaking through at Sporting CP during the 2002/03 season – 88 fewer than Messi.

However, to Ronaldo’s credit in the age-old debate, he has played in four different top-flight divisions, including the Premier League.

But all the credit will go to Messi for breaking the 1000 milestone – something no player from the top five leagues in Europe has done in the modern era.

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Messi’s finish was also the fifth he has scored in the last five matches and he is currently in the form of his PSG career since he made the move from Barcelona in 2021.

Messi has 12 goals and 12 assists in 20 Ligue 1 appearances so far this season – a much better return after failing to deceive in his maiden campaign at the Parc des Princes.

Having also impressed at the World Cup with seven strikes and the Player of the Tournament trophy, Messi was named as the FIFA Best Men’s Player 2022 last Monday.

And after scoring in the 12th minute against Nantes, Messi was able to help PSG over the line to another important win in their pursuit of lifting the Ligue 1 title for the second successive campaign. Jaouen Hadjam’s own-goal gave PSG a two-goal lead moments after Messi’s strike as Christophe Galtier’s side were handed a healthy cushion.

However, Nantes fought back and scored two quick-fire goals thanks to strikes from Ludovic Blas and Ignatius Ganago as PSG were pegged back going into half-time. Messi and PSG managed to pull through and score twice in the second period, with Danilo Pereira netting their third and Kylian Mbappe adding a fourth in injury-time.

Messi is set to next feature for PSG when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-32 second-leg in Germany on Wednesday. Galtier’s men trail 1-0 from the first tie after Kingsley Coman struck the winner.