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Lionel Messi: 7 Best Seasons In His Career

Every season will probably be a good one when you’re looking at a player of Lionel Messi’s caliber. But even the greatest player of all time has had some seasons that stand out above the rest.

Be it another record broken or another trophy won, Messi has, over the years, had some truly outstanding individual years. 

Today, we’re going to look back on seven of the best seasons the Argentinian legend has ever had.

While Messi has every chance of adding another superb year to his already remarkable career, we’ve chosen seven of Messi’s best Barcelona years, seasons where he’s won everything or scored record numbers of goals; each has its place in history. 

Here are the 7 best seasons in Lionel Messi’s career.

7. 2016/17 Season

  • Titles: Copa Del Rey, Spanish Super Cup
  • Achievements: La Liga top scorer, La Liga POTY

The 2016/17 season was a particularly good one for record-breaking; Messi would overtake Raul as the highest-scoring Champions League player, score his sixth hattrick in the competition, a new record, and finish the season as European soccer’s top scorer with 54 goals, 

Another Raul record would also be broken by Messi in the 2017 season, as he scored against Las Palmas, equalling Raul’s record of scoring against 35 different La Liga teams.

Ronald Koeman’s record of 26 free-kicks wasn’t safe either; Messi would score his 27th for Barcelona to take the record away from the Dutchman. 

A 3-2 victory over arch-rivals Real Madrid, in which Messi would score a last-gasp winner, was his 500th goal for Barcelona, making him arguably the most outstanding goalscorer of the past century.

A genuinely exceptional season would end with Messi as the league and European soccer’s top scorer. 

6. 2015/16 Season

  • Titles: La Liga, Copa Del Rey
  • Achievements: Ballon d’Or

Another memorable season for the outstanding Argentine saw Messi win his fifth Ballon d’Or, a new record.

A goal against Sporting de Gijon would see Messi score his 300th league goal for Barcelona, and only days later, the player would score Barcelona’s 10,000th official goal in all competitions. 

His 500th appearance for the club in December of 2015, a game in which Messi again scored, would soon be followed by a league and cup double, as Barcelona would win both La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

That this season only makes it into sixth place speaks volumes about how truly incredible a career Lionel Messi has had.

5. 2014/15 Season

  • Titles: Champions League, La Liga, Copa Del Rey
  • Achievements: Champions League top scorer, La Liga POTY,

Incredibly, for such a successful season, rumors were rife that Messi was ready to walk away from Barcelona and seek out a new challenge.

A poor start to the season seemed to indicate that things weren’t going well at the Catalan club. Thankfully, things were about to change. 

Messi’s and Barcelona’s season took a turn for the better, and the goalscoring exploits of the young Argentine got the ball rolling.

Telmo Zarra’s record for the most La Liga goals had stood for almost six decades before a young Lionel Messi broke it in the 2014/15 season. Zarra had scored 251 league goals in his career; Messi would leave Barcelona having scored 474 league goals. 

Playing in a forward three alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez, Messi would score 58 goals in the season, with a total of 122 in all competitions between the three players. The club would go on to win La Liga, with Messi again breaking another La Liga record on the way. 

His 32nd hattrick for the club was a new record, and he would soon become the player with the most La Liga assists when he overtook Luis Figo.

Mercurial displays in the Champions League saw Messi propel Barcelona to the final, where they would defeat Juventus 3-1. 

4. 2009/10 Season

  • Titles: La Liga, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup
  • Achievements: Ballon d’Or, La Liga top scorer, Champions League top scorer, La Liga POTY

One of the highlights of any player’s career is winning a Ballon d’Or, the most prestigious individual award in soccer.

2009 was a hugely successful one for Lionel Messi, and the youngster would finally be awarded the Ballon d’Or in 2009. Incredibly he would go on to retain the award the following year. 

Winning two Ballon d’Or is a huge achievement and a real statement of how good a player is; Messi would go on to be awarded the Ballon d’Or a record seven times.

Finishing in second place a further five times, Messi is, without doubt, the most highly-rated player in history. 

As well as winning his first Ballon d’Or trophy, Messi would be voted the FIFA World Player of the Year, an incredible achievement for a player of only 22.

Both awards were on by record landslides; the results never in doubt. In the 2009/10 campaign, Messi would score 47 goals, equaling the record held by former Barcelona player Ronaldo.

3. 2018/19 Season

  • Titles: La Liga, Spanish Super Cup
  • Achievements: La Liga Top Scorer, Champions League top scorer, La Liga POTY

2019 was a monumental year for Lionel Messi, as the Argentinian international would finally lift his tenth La Liga title with Barcelona. Having won his first title in 2004/05, Messi would win his tenth and last La Liga trophy in 2019. 

Finishing the season with 36 league goals and 12 in the Champions League, Messi had again had a superb season.

The league’s top scorer again, although his scoring had declined slightly over recent seasons, the number of assists that the player provided meant his value to the Barcelona team was as high as ever. 

The 2018/19 season saw Messi score his 400th La Liga goal and become the Barcelona captain.

As the player had matured, his status and influence within the team had grown; although a relatively quiet player, much preferring his skill to do the talking, Messi was an influential and valued voice in the dressing room. 

The 2018/19 La Liga title was the last that Barcelona has won, and given their financial woes and the fact that Messi now plays for Paris Saint Germain, the club could have to settle for a back seat for some time to come. 

2. 2008/09 Season

  • Titles: La Liga, Champions League, Copa Del Rey, Olympic Gold
  • Achievements: Champions League top scorer, La Liga POTY

Despite having a superbly talented young team, Barcelona still needed to show that they could win. All the skill in the world counted for nothing if the young Barcelona stars didn’t have the bravery to lift trophies. 

The 2008/09 season was pivotal for Messi and Barcelona; not only did the team lift their first treble, winning the Copa del Rey, Champions League, and La Liga.

Barcelona’s new manager, Pep Guardiola, led the club to unprecedented success over the next few years, but this first season in charge set the tone. 

In a phenomenal season, Messi would score 38 goals, finishing runner-up in the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the year, and lifted three trophies.

The treble was the first time a Spanish team had ever completed a clean sweep of all three trophies and marked a pivotal shift in power in Spanish soccer. Barcelona was on top and intended to stay there. 

1. 2011/2012 Season

  • Titles: Copa Del Rey, UEFA Supercup, Spanish Super Cup
  • Achievements: Ballon d’Or, La Liga top scorer, Champions League top scorer, La Liga POTY

In a career that’s been record-breaking since the beginning, 2012 must have been a special year for Lionel Messi.

Becoming Barcelona’s all-time record goalscorer at just 24 years old certainly helped; Messi would break the 57-year record of 232 goals set by Cesar Rodriguez in March of 2012. 

He would also become the first player to ever score five goals in a Champions League tie and become the first player to score 50 league goals in a season.

His 50 La Liga goals put Messi’s final tally for the season at 73 goals, a world record for a single player in European competition. 

By December of 2012, Messi had broken even more scoring records; his 190th league goal was a Barcelona record, and for the entire calendar year, Messi had broken the record held by Gerd Muller for the most goals in a calendar year. 

The 40-year-old record held by Muller, with 85 goals, now belonged to the Argentinian superstar, along with more records than anyone else in world soccer.

In a career swamped by success and record-breaking achievements, 2012 has to be one of the best that Lionel Messi has ever had.

I listed the best seasons of some other all-time greats in these articles: