Top 5 Players Who Played The Most Matches With Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi Posing With His Ballons d'Or
Lionel Messi Posing With His Ballons d'Or

Arguably the best soccer player in history, Lionel Messi does not need an introduction. The Barcelona and Argentine icon, who has taken Major League Soccer (MLS)’s popularity to new heights since joining Inter Miami in 2023, has won every major trophy in the game. After winning four UEFA Champions League trophies and 10 La Liga titles with Barcelona, Messi took his talents to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2021, adding two Ligue 1 titles to his unparalleled trophy cabinet.

In December 2022, Messi helped Argentina to the FIFA World Cup, emerging as the tournament’s best player and winning an unprecedented second Golden Ball. Owing to his exploits in Qatar, he won the Best FIFA Men’s Player and a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or in 2023.

All of Messi’s teammates, past and present, have raved about his genius and commitment to the craft, dubbing him the Greatest of All Time (GOAT). Today, we will take a look at a lucky bunch of players who have had the good fortune of marveling at him for years, sharing in his highs and lows. Continue reading to meet five players who have played the most matches with the great Messi.

#5 Xavi (Barcelona): 399 Games

Lionel Messi and Xavi
Lionel Messi and Xavi

Kicking off the list is ex-Barcelona player and current manager Xavi. The Spaniard, who won two European Championships and a FIFA World Cup with Spain, shared the dressing room with Lionel Messi for over a decade. During their time together in the Catalonian cathedral of Camp Nou, Messi and Xavi shared the pitch 399 times.

Xavi and Messi combined for 42 goals at Barcelona, and unsurprisingly, the central midfielder played the role of creator more often than not. Xavi assisted Messi 34 times between 2004 and 2015, while the Argentine returned the favor eight times. They won 25 trophies at Camp Nou, including two unprecedented Trebles in 2009 and 2015.

#4 Javier Mascherano (Argentina & Barcelona): 414 Games

Lionel Messi And Javier Mascherano
Lionel Messi And Javier Mascherano In Action For Argentina

Former Argentina and Barcelona star Javier Mascherano played 414 games with his compatriot Lionel Messi. The two Argentinians played 298 games together for the Blaugrana and 116 times for La Albiceleste, including the Olympic team.

Mascherano, who is currently managing the Argentina U20 side, won two UEFA Champions Leagues, five La Liga titles, and five Copas del Rey between 2010 and 2018 in Catalonia, amongst other honors. He could not share any senior-team honor with former Argentina teammate Messi, but the pair won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2008.

#3 Andres Iniesta (Barcelona): 489 Games

Andres Iniesta Played Around 500 Matches With Messi
Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta Celebrating Barcelona Victory

Andres Iniesta is one of the best midfielders of the 21st century. He glided past defenders like they were not there, could pierce any defense in the world with his perfectly weighted through balls, and had a near-telepathic connection with Lionel Messi, which greatly benefitted Barcelona in tricky ties. The former La Masia graduates were at Camp Nou together between 2004 and 2018, sharing the pitch 489 times.

Iniesta, who is plying his trade at Emirates Club, linked up with the Inter Miami ace for 53 goals, providing 43 assists and scoring 10 times. They won 32 trophies at Barcelona, including four UEFA Champions Leagues and nine La Liga titles. Iniesta and Messi were integral as Barca won two Trebles in 2009 and 2015.

#2 Gerard Pique (Barcelona): 506 Games

Gerard Pique Is One Of The Players Who Have Played The Most Matches With Lionel Messi
Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi Celebrating Together

Former Manchester United center-back Gerard Pique was a mainstay for Barcelona for 14-and-a-half years between July 2008 and January 2023. During his Barca career, Pique had the good fortune of playing 506 games with Lionel Messi and combining for 17 goals. Messi assisted Pique 12 times with the Spaniard returning the favor five times.

Pique and Messi celebrated three UEFA Champions League trophies, eight La Liga titles, and seven Copas del Rey together at Barcelona. The Spanish Cup win in 2020-21 marked their last silverware together.

#1 Sergio Busquets (Barcelona & Inter Miami): 586 Games

Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets Celebrating After Inter Miami Win
Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets Celebrating After Inter Miami Win

One of Lionel Messi’s close friends, Sergio Busquets has played 586 games with the Argentine since 2008. The former Spain international broke into the Barcelona first team in 2008 and spent the next 13 years playing alongside Messi. In that span, the two played 567 games together, combining for 23 goals. After a two-year separation, Busquets and Messi reunited at Inter Miami and have shared the pitch 19 times since.

At Barcelona, Messi and Busquets won 30 trophies together, including three UEFA Champions Leagues and eight La Liga titles. They have already opened their account at Inter Miami, winning the Leagues Cup in the 2023 season.

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