With his second-half brace in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Athletic Club on Saturday, Lionel Messi passed Telmo Zarra as the all-time leading Copa del Rey final goalscorer.
In the competition’s final, he scored two goals, giving him a total of ten goals. Seven times he has won the tournament.
Barcelona has won their first trophy of the season and will aim to add a La Liga crown to their trophy cabinet by the end of 2020-21, as they close in on Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in a three-horse domestic battle. With eight games remaining, they are one point behind Real and two points behind Atletico.
“Today is a wonderful day. It’s an honor to be captain of this squad, where I’ve spent my entire career,” Messi told Barca TV. “This is a unique cup because this year is different because it is a transition year with so many young players.” The squad is developing, and we are also vying for a place in La Liga.”
Head coach Ronald Koeman shared his wish for Messi to remain at Barcelona beyond this season in his post-game press conference.
“Messi is a champion. We need to talk about all of our players because they are all deserving of this honor. Messi, on the other hand, is the difference-maker. “We all want Messi to remain here,” said Koeman.
“Messi is the greatest player in the world, and we will do all we can to keep him,” Barca president Joan Laporta told Telecinco.
Messi not only broke the Copa del Rey final record, but he also scored his 30th goal of the season in all competitions, a feat he’s accomplished 13 times in a row.
The last time Messi did not score at least 30 goals in a season, he was four years old, according to teammate Ilaix Moriba, who came off the bench Saturday.