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#Messi300: A statistical breakdown

SoccerNews in La Liga 17 Feb 2016

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Lionel Messi set yet another record on Wednesday, as he became the first man to break the 300-goal mark in La Liga.

The Barcelona superstar reached his triple-century in the 25th minute of his side’s 3-1 victory at Sporting Gijon, opening the scoring with a typically unerring left-footed finish from 20 yards.

For good measure, Messi notched his 301st league goal with another clinical strike 16 minutes later. He is now 50 clear of second-placed Telmo Zarra in La Liga’s all-time leading scorers’ list.

Here we take a look at the key statistics behind Messi’s quite remarkable goalscoring record:

 

Goals-to-game ratio

It has taken Messi just 334 Liga appearances – and 292 starts – to register 301 goals in the competition, which works out at an average of just over 0.9 goals per game. 

How he scored them

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority (240) of Messi’s 301 goals have come from his wand of a left foot, with just 12 being recorded as headers. He even scored once with his hand, against Espanyol in 2011. The 28-year-old has netted 39 penalties and 15 direct free-kicks in La Liga, with 260 of his goals coming from inside the penalty area.

Where and when he scored them

172 of Messi’s 301 goals have been scored at Camp Nou, and the Argentina captain appears to prefer the second half to the first – with 177 of his strikes coming after the interval.

His favourite opponents

Somewhat surprisingly, Atletico Madrid are Messi’s biggest victims, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner registering 21 goals in just 20 Liga appearances against the 2014 champions. Sevilla are not far behind (19 goals scored in 18 games), while Messi – the all-time leading scorer in Clasicos – has netted 15 times in 19 Liga appearances against Real Madrid.

Xerez, though, can boast that they are the only team to have faced Messi more than once in La Liga without conceding to him. Real Murcia, Las Palmas and Cadiz have also managed to keep Messi out in league fixtures.

His partners in crime

Dani Alves leads the way when it comes to assists for Messi, the Brazilian full-back’s total of 26 bettering Barca legend Xavi by five. Andres Iniesta and Pedro (18 each) sit joint third in that list, with the other members of the famous ‘MSN’ forward line, Luis Suarez (11) and Neymar (10) also featuring high up.

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