Here, Press Association Sport looks at how the Argentina forward fared at the Mestalla.
DENIED A CLEAR GOAL
Messi had a perfectly good goal chalked off after 30 minutes when his drive from the edge of the area was fumbled by Valencia goalkeeper Neto, with TV replays showing the ball clearly crossed the line. But since goal-line technology is not available to officials in LaLiga, Valencia were let off the hook.
Messi found his opportunities limited against a well-organised Valencia defence in the first half but did cause a few scares when he ran in behind, with his speed and trickery making him a handful. But in the second half, Messi’s superb ball into the box was turned into the net by Jordi Alba as Barca found a late equaliser.
There were a few neat one-twos with Andres Iniesta as Messi was involved in some of Barca’s best build-up play in both halves. But the 30-year-old was guilty of a number of sloppy passes which saw Valencia win back possession when they were 1-0 up.
Messi spent a fair amount of time in the middle of the park, looking to carry the ball forward using his pace and skill. But he did cause problems on the few occasions he managed to work his way into the box.
Despite the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s relationships with Sergio Aguero and Pep Guardiola though, he put all speculation of a move to the Premier League to bed by signing an extension with Barcelona until 2021.
The deal also includes one of the highest release clauses in world football, now set at €700 million.
Here, we look at the best XI made up of players with the highest buyout clauses.
GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA (€100m)*
The AC Milan keeper is only 18, but he’s already regarded as one of the top goalkeeping talents in Europe. He was on the verge of leaving the Serie A giants this summer, before signing a new contract.
RAPHAEL VARANE (€200m)
GERARD PIQUE (€200m)
It’s hard to imagine Gerard Pique ever leaving Barcelona – there’s arguably no player who embodies the spirit of the club more. Even if someone did trigger the release clause, you’d think Pique would choose to stay put.
SERGIO RAMOS (€200m)
What Pique is to Barcelona, Sergio Ramos is to Real Madrid. The fact that they have identical release clauses just completes the parallel.
TONI KROOS (€300m)
Speaking of Madrid players with prohibitively high release clauses, Isco is going to be pretty much untouchable when it comes to transfers. The Spaniard is set to rival Neymar for the tag of the world’s best player whenever Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo pass the torch – and Isco’s release clause is the same as Messi’s.
LUKA MODRIC (€500m)
For what Luka Modric brings to Real Madrid, his release clause may even be undervaluing him. His vision and passing provide the inspiration for the attacking play that services the star names ahead of him.
LIONEL MESSI (€700m)
Messi’s new release clause is over three times the buyout that was in Neymar‘s contract at Barcelona – so even PSG would have to think twice about trying to lure the Argentine away. They may have missed their chance – Messi’s previous release clause was €300million.
GARETH BALE (€500m)
In all likelihood, Real Madrid will end up selling Gareth Bale for far less than his release clause, but in case they hold firm, they’ll get a world-record transfer fee for the Welshman.
CRISTIANO RONALDO (€1bn)
The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate will continue endlessly, but on this score, at least, Ronaldo comes out ahead. Will anyone ever pay €1billion for a player?
KARIM BENZEMA (€1bn)
While others debate whether Karim Benzema is world-class or overrated, Real Madrid made their stance clear long ago by putting the same release contract in his contract as they did in Ronaldo’s.
*Donnarumma’s release clause set at €100m if AC Milan are in the Champions League and €50m if they are not.
For a while there, some may have thought the unthinkable could actually happen. Lionel Messi reportedly rejected a contract extension in the summer, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season. The Barcelona legend, in another club’s colours?
On Saturday, club and player finally came to an agreement, with Messi signing an extension that will keep him at Barcelona until 2021. It allows the Argentinian to further cement his legacy at the only club he’s ever known.
Here are Seven Deadly Stats from Messi’s Barcelona career so far…
A top forward who’s made just over 600 appearances for his club would be delighted with, say, 300 to 350 goals in that time. But Messi has redefined what it means to be a top forward. 523 goals in 602 appearances is an unreal record. It’s hard to imagine anyone hitting that sort of strike rate again.
After scoring 523 goals in 602 games for @FCBarcelona, Lionel Messi has extended his contact at the club. Hopefully now, he’ll finally realise his potential.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 25, 2017
ALL-TIME LA LIGA TOP SCORER
Of course, when you’re scoring 523 goals for your club, you’re bound to be breaking numerous records along the way. Messi’s 361 La Liga goals is the record for the competition. Is he going to break the 500 mark by the time he’s done?
#OnThisDay in 2014, The legend #Messi scored a hat-trick & became THE ALL-TIME TOP SCORER in LaLiga history by firing Barcelona to a resounding 5-1 win at home to Sevilla. #WeAreMessi pic.twitter.com/ajXrqDtzQ9— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) November 22, 2017
You could be the greatest player in your club’s history, but it would still mean a little less if you couldn’t perform against the club’s biggest rivals. Messi has no such concerns – his 24 goals against Real Madrid are the most in El Clasico history, for either team.
WHO’S GOING TO PAY HIS RELEASE CLAUSE?
The new contract sees Messi’s release clause go from €300million to a whopping €700million. That’s enough for three Neymars – with some spare change left over, in case there’s a promising €30million player around.
FYI @celticfc Lionel Messi's new buy out clause is €700m— Deluded Brendan (@DeludedBrendan) November 25, 2017
I'll leave it with you but he'd make great back up for Griffiths and Dembele
HAT-TRICK RECORD: GUNNING FOR RONALDO
Messi has 40 career hat-tricks, 36 of which have come for Barcelona. He and his great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, each have seven in the Champions League, which is the current record. But in La Liga, Ronaldo holds the record at 32. Messi’s only four behind. His first Barca hat-trick famously came as a teenager against Real Madrid, in 2007.
"THIS IS THE GAME THAT IS GOING TO BE REMEMBERED AS THE LIONEL MESSI MATCH, NINETEEN YEARS OF AGE... HE GETS A HAT-TRICK!" pic.twitter.com/Kj8kja4bB5— Lionel Messi (@MessiTweets_) November 15, 2017
BEST SCORER, BEST PLAYMAKER
Back to that goals-to-game ratio: what would we say about 234 goals in 602 games? Not bad – a little less than a goal every two games, which, for a No. 10, is a very good record.
How about 234 assists in 602 games? That’s what Messi’s done. Yet again, an unbelievable number. And for anyone who’s keeping count, that means he’s been directly involved in 757 goals during his Barcelona career – so, more than a goal or assist per game.
BARCELONA’S MOST SUCCESSFUL PLAYER
Messi made his Barcelona debut in 2004. Since then, he’s won La Liga eight times and the Champions League four times. His overall trophy count? 30, which puts him atop the club’s all-time list, along with Andres Iniesta.