Spain’s Professional Football League body (LFP) says Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will be handed a trophy in recognition of his all-time La Liga goal-scoring prowess before Sunday’s league clash with champions Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.
The Argentine, 27, became the leading goal scorer in the history of the Spanish Primera Division in November, when his hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 thrashing of Sevilla saw him surpass Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 top-flight goals.
The league said in a statement: “Messi will be honored by the LFP before the League match against Club Atlético de Madrid (Sunday January 11, 21 hours) for his 253 goals, which he was able to accrue in November, with three goals scored at the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.”
Zarra scored his 251 goals for Athletic Bilbao during a 15-year career, spanning 277 appearances for the Basque club. Messi was able to increase the goals benchmark that had been in existence since 1955 in 289 appearances.
— La Liga (@LaLiga) January 10, 2015
Former Barca manager Carles Rexach, who discovered Messi at the age of 12 while serving as sporting director, will present the award to the three-time La Liga top scorer.
Rexach and Messi’s father, Jorge, arranged a trial for the teenager, who later moved from Rosario to La Masia where his football education begun.
Messi has scored 15 goals in 17 league matches so far this season, taking his career total to 258 in 294 appearances.