Lionel Messi equals Raul's Champions League record with 71st goal

Lionel Messi equalled Raul's Champions League goal-scoring record with the 71st of his career during Barcelona's 2-0 Group F win at Ajax on Wednesday.

Messi entered Barcelona's game against Ajax on 69 goals for his career and headed in his 70th in the 36th minute. Only four of Messi's Champions League goals have come on headers.

He then matched Raul's record with his second goal of the day in the second half after Ajax had gone down to 10 men.

The 27-year-old matched the record in just 90 games. Raul played in 142 Champions League games for Madrid and Schalke between 1995 and 2011.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 29, is also in the race for the record, with the Real Madrid star having scored 70 Champions League goals in 106 appearances in the competition. He failed to score against Liverpool on Tuesday.

Messi played down his achievement, claiming that the win for the team had been his major concern.

The Blaugrana talisman told UEFA after the game that he was delighted to have reached the mark, but the most important thing had been getting the win which sends Barca through the last 16 and keeps them just a point behind group leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

"I am happy, the truth is this was not most important today," Messi said. "That was to the get the important three points to try and keep fighting with Paris to win the group. But I am happy to have achieved it."

Asked which was the best of his 71 goals in the competition, Messi said it was difficult to pick one out, but his favourites were probably either of those scored in the 2009 and 2011 finals, both against Manchester United.

"I cannot choose one, but the goals in the finals are the nicest to remember," he said.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was also focused on the game, saying only, "Messi is the best player I have seen in my life."

Xavi Hernandez said his teammate deserved to hold the record.

"I'm happy for Leo because of the work he does for the team and because he is number one, the best," Xavi said. "Leo has a free role along with the others up front, but they also have some important defensive work to do. At this club we all work and when we all work the team functions."

Dermot Corrigan contributed to this report.