The 26-year-old Argentine netted for the 19th
time against Real Madrid in Sunday's Liga clash
at the Santiago Bernabeu, thus moving him one
clear of his compatriot in the all-time standings.
Los Blancos icon Di Stefano hit 18 goals in 30
Clasicos between 1953 and 1964, but Messi,
with his strike just before half-time in Sunday's
meeting, has now surpassed that total in just 27
games between the two great Liga rivals.
Messi opened his Clasico account with a
sensational hat-trick – the last player to do so in
the fixture – in a 3-3 draw at Camp Nou on
March 10, 2007.
He has never looked back, netting a fine double
in a stunning 6-2 dismantling of Madrid before
their own fans at the Bernabeu in May 2009,
while the four-time Ballon d'Or winner also
scored both goals in the Blaugrana 's 2-0 win in
the away leg of the 2011 Champions League
Messi equalled Di Stefano's tally with his 17th-
minute strike in Barcelona's 2-1 Liga loss in the
Spanish capital on March 2 of last year.
However, Sunday night's strike at the same
venue means that he has now taken outright
possession of one of the Clasico's most
Messi's cool finish also saw him go joint-second
with Hugo Sanchez on La Liga's all-time record
goalscorers' list, on 234 goals. The Rosario
native is now just 18 shy of Athletic Bilbao icon
Telmo Zarra in first place.