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The Argentine extended his run of goals in La Liga to 19 rounds of the competition on Saturday, and has now netted consecutively against every other side in the table. What next?

COMMENT
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

There is virtually no way of stopping him and, after he extended his latest remarkable record on Saturday, there looks likely to be no way of catching him, either.

Lionel Messi made it 19 Liga goals in a row with his second-half strike at Celta Vigo on Saturday evening, as Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw in Galicia. The Argentine, exhausted after his midweek match in Bolivia and sick during the interval in La Paz due to the high altitude in the Andean city, lacked some of his usual freshness in this encounter, but he still did enough to set up one goal, score another and see a decent appeal for a penalty waved away by the referee.

MESSI'S 19 IN A ROW IN LA LIGA
Round/Date Fixture
Result
11 - 11/11 Mallorca (a) Won 4-2
(Messi 2)
12 - 17/11 Zaragoza (h) Won 3-1
(Messi 2)
13 - 25/11 Levante (a) Won 4-0
(Messi 2)
14 - 01/12 Athletic (h) Won 5-1
(Messi 2)
15 - 09/12 Betis (a) Won 2-1
(Messi 2)
16 - 16/12 Atletico (h) Won 4-1
(Messi 2)
17 - 22/12 Valladolid (a) Won 3-1
(Messi 1)
18 - 06/01 Espanyol (h) Won 4-0
(Messi 1)
19 - 13/01 Malaga (a) Won 3-1
(Messi 1)
20 - 19/01 R. Sociedad (a) Lost 3-2
(Messi 1)
21 - 27/01 Osasuna (h) Won 5-1
(Messi 4)
22 - 03/02 Valencia (a) Drew 1-1
(Messi 1)
23 - 10/02 Getafe (h) Won 6-1
(Messi 1)
24 - 16/02 Granada (a) Won 2-1
(Messi 2)
25 - 23/02 Sevilla (h) Won 2-1
(Messi 1)
26 - 02/03 Real Madrid (a)
Lost 2-1
(Messi 1)
27 - 09/03 Deportivo (h) Won 2-0
(Messi 1)
28 - 17/03 Rayo (h) Won 3-1
(Messi 2)
29 - 30/03 Celta Vigo (a) Drew 2-2
(Messi 1)
All of this, of course, is to be expected these days from the four-time Ballon d'Or winner. Even when his star shines less brightly, Messi remains decisive. This, then, by his own superlative standards, was nothing exceptional.

Yet it was exceptional, because his low drive into the bottom corner in the second half meant that he had scored against every single side in La Liga in a single season, matching Cristiano Ronaldo's feat from 2011-12, albeit with one key difference - Messi had done it in consecutive matches.

In fact, the last time he had failed to convert in the Primera Division had been in the home match against Celta at Camp Nou in early November. Ever since then, the Argentine has managed at least one goal - often two and even four on one occasion - in each top-flight fixture. And having already recently broken a world record (belonging to Pole Teodor Pewterek) which had stood since 1937-38 with his 17th consecutive game on the scoresheet earlier in March when he struck a late goal against Deportivo La Coruna, the 25-year-old has now extended the mark by two more rounds to what is now the equivalent of half an entire Primera Division campaign.

It is a record which is likely to remain unchallenged, possibly forever, certainly for the foreseeable future, unless he himself breaks it, of course. Not that he is likely to be finished yet, either. With nine rounds of La Liga left, this record could yet run for the remainder of the current campaign and, possibly, into next season as well.

In the 15th round of La Liga, the fifth match of this current streak, Messi surpassed Gerd Muller's mark for goals in a calendar year. The German great had hit 85 for club and country in a total which had stood untouched and unchallenged since 1972. Leo ended 2012 with 91 and has plenty of years left to improve on that, perhaps even claiming 100 goals in a calendar year. Why not?

Last term, Messi also beat Muller's total of goals scored in a single season (67) as he hit 73 for Barca in 2011-12. This time around, the Argentine already has 56 goals to his name in 2012-13 and up to 14 more matches still remaining - nine in La Liga and five in the Champions League. Continue to convert as he has been so far this term and a new season's best may arrive in May.

At his current rate, Messi is shattering records on an almost weekly basis, marks which have sometimes stood for decades or been around for 50 years before the player's birth. And so they tumble, perhaps never to be seen or heard of again.

But when the football records are rewritten for the umpteenth time after Messi's magical career, his name will feature prominently. And his own records, unless bettered by himself (after all, he is still only 25 and possibly approaching the best years of his brilliant career), look likely to stand the test of time.

So unless football changes dramatically or another genius is fused with a special side in the same way Messi and Barca co-exist almost symbiotically, the Argentine's latest remarkable records may never, ever be broken.

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