The 30-year-old is also the all-time leading goalscorer for Barcelona, a milestone Messi reached in 2015 after surpassing Paulino Alcantara - who scored 369 goals for the club between 1912 and 1927.
The forward now has 539 goals for Barca and 61 at worldwide level with Argentina.
It is his 373rd strike in LaLiga and the 13th he has netted in all competitions during 2018.
With the gap standing at just five points before kick off, Diego Simeone's side could have opened up the title race with a victory at the Camp Nou.
Sunday was a big day for Spanish soccer as league leaders Barcelona faced off against second-place Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona have seen their seven-point cushion over Atletico reduce to five following their unexpected draw at Las Palmas but it appears Valverde will at least have a almost fully fit squad to choose from for the crunch top-of-the-table fixture with Los Colchoneros.
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"He is a player who is far above the level of his team-mates, and I am convinced that he has not made any decision to move [or not] yet", he told Marca.
The results: La Liga: Levante 1 (Morales 55-pen) drew with Espanyol 1 (Baptistao 90+1); Barcelona 1 (Messi 26) bt Atletico Madrid 0.
It was entirely appropriate that Messi was the match-winner of this top-of-the-table clash with his brilliant first-half free-kick, because the Argentine has been magnificent throughout the campaign to lead La Liga in both scoring (24) and assists (12).
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Diego Simeone was asked what his side could have done to usurp Barca on the night.
Diego Costa has faced Barcelona 12 times in all competitions and has never scored against them, while this afternoon the Spanish global could not manage to get a shot on target. Too often Atletico Madrid are the latter when it comes to games like these.
"That's how you win leagues, by suffering, when you are not 100 per cent but getting the best out of your players".
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