A Breakdown Of Lionel Messi's Champions League Goals
12th Feb 2018 by TSZ
Although there are many facets to Lionel Messi's game, his goalscoring frequency is up there with the very best in the history of the game. His record in the Champions League is typically staggering, and over the last decade the Argentine and his chief rival Cristiano Ronaldo have consistently raised the bar by which others are measured.
Currently on 97 career Champions League goals, Messi will surely break the century mark in the near future as he hunts down his Portuguese nemesis for the overall record. So, how has he gone about his business in Europe's premier club competition? In this regularly updated analysis, we delve into the numbers behind his success:
Last updated after 2017-18 matchday 6 vs Sporting CP
- Prior to the current campaign, Messi has scored at least six Champions League goals for ten consecutive seasons.
- The Barcelona man's most prolific campaign was 2011-12 (14).
- Messi’s shares the record with Cristiano Ronaldo for the most goals scored by a single player in the group stage (60).
- The Argentine has also notched more goals in the round of 16 than any other player (21).
BY PITCH AREA
- Two-thirds of Messi's Champions league strikes have come from inside the penalty area (66.0%).
- Just over a fifth (20.6%) have been scored from inside the 6 yard box.
METHOD OF GOALS
- Messi's lethal foot has accounted for 79 of his 97 Champions League goals (81.4%), considerably outweighing Ronaldo's ratio with his right foot.
- Messi has only scored four headers in the Champions League, although one of those was against Manchester United in the 2008/09 final.
TYPE OF GOALS
- 85.6% of Messi's goals have come from open play, whilst he has reached double figures from the spot.
- Surprisingly, Messi has only scored three free-kicks in his Champions League career.
- Messi has been just as dangerous in the first half as the second half of Champions League matches, scoring 48 times before the break and 49 after.
- Messi's two most prolific time periods are at the end of each half, although it should be noted that these segments include injury time.
- Messi has never featured in a Champions League match that has gone to extra-time.
NATIONS SCORED AGAINST
- Clubs hailing from 16 different nations have been on the receiving end of a Messi goal in the Champions League.
- English and German teams have been notable victims of Messi over the years, with the Argentine scoring past clubs from those nations 17 and 16 times respectively.
TEAMS SCORED AGAINST
- In terms of specific clubs, the Barcelona frontman has been on the scoresheet against 28 different opponents.
- Messi has scored at least five times against six different clubs in the Champions League, three of those being British.
- His nine career goals against Arsenal is the joint-most (with Ronaldo) against any one club in the Champions League.
GOALKEEPERS SCORED AGAINST
- Messi has scored past 42 different goalkeepers in the Champions League.
- Bernd Leno and Christian Abbiati have the unfortunate distinction of conceding the most goals to Messi (seven).
- 22 different players have assisted Messi in the Champions league.
- Andres Iniesta has been his most frequent supplier, with the Spaniard teeing up Messi for 12 goals in the competition.
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