22 Mar 2012

Spanish media hail Messi as living legend

8:28 am on 22 March 2012

Spanish media are hailing Barcelona's Lionel Messi as "a living legend" and "eternal" after the Argentine striker became the club's highest goalscorer of all time, at the age of just 24.

Messi's hat-trick in Barcelona's 5-3 league win over Granada took his tally to 234 goals for the club to overtake Cesar Rodriguez, who had a prolific spell for Barcelona in the 1940s and '50s, as the club's all-time leading scorer.

Messi's also overtaken Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as the top scorer in the Spanish league this season with 34 goals, and Barcelona have moved within five points of Real at the top of La Liga.

Messi made his debut for Barcelona as a 16 year old in 2003.