- Lionel Messi's rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo will never end
- The 33-year-old scored his 15th goal of the season in Barcelona's win over Rayo Vallecano
- Both stars have now scored at least 15 goals in the last 15 seasons of their career
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Lionel Messi announced his return to Barcelona line-up with a stunning goal in their 2-1 Copa Del Rey triumph over Rayo Vallecano.
Fran Garcia opened the scoring for the home team in the 63rd minute but a quick response from the Argentine six minutes later gave the Catalans a lifeline in the game.
And barely 10 minutes before the final whistle, Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong powered the Nou Camp outfit to victory.
The 33-year-old who recently finished serving his two-match ban after bagging his first career red card returned to the team and save Ronald Koeman's blushes.
And his goal against the Segunda division took his tally to 15 goals this campaign across all competitions - which means that he (Messi) has scored at least 15 goals in the last 15 seasons.
After breaking into the Catalans senior team in 2005, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been consistent with his goals scoring ability.
Lionel Messi has scored at least 15 goals in the last 15 seasons (see breakdown)
- 06/07 season - 17 goals
- 07/08 season - 16
- 08/09 season - 38
- 09/10 season - 47
- 10/11 season - 53
- 11/12 season - 73
- 12/13 season - 60
- 13/14 season - 41
- 14/15 season - 58
- 15/16 season - 41
- 16/17 season - 54
- 17/18 season - 45
- 18/19 season - 51
- 19/20 season - 31
- 20/21 season - 15
The Argentine is also in contention to win his eighth Pichichi award having already recorded 11 La Liga goals with Luis Suarez and Youssef En-Nesyri currently topping the chart with 12 goals each.
Meanwhile, it is left to be seen if the 33-year-old will extend his stay at Camp Nou with his current deal expiring at the end of the ongoing season.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo will clock 36 in about three weeks from now but the forward is not showing any sign of slowing down one bit.
The Portugal international scored a stunning 92nd-minute goal in Juventus' 3-1 win over Sassuolo at the Allianz Stadium last weekend.
Danillo and Aaron Ramsey had also been on target earlier on in the game that saw all goals scored in the second half.