Thursday, January 23, 2020

Faster and younger than rival Ronaldo – Magical Messi´s 100 Champions League goals in Opta numbers

SoccerNews in La Liga 14 Mar 2018


Lionel Messi struck twice in Barcelona’s thumping defeat of Chelsea in the Champions League to bring up his 100th goal in the competition.

Messi opened the scoring by nutmegging Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the third minute at Camp Nou, later driving another finish through the Belgium international’s legs to wrap up a 3-0 win.

The Argentina superstar also set up Ousmane Dembele’s first Champions League goal as Ernesto Valverde’s men completely outplayed their Premier League visitors.

But despite many believing Messi to be the finest footballer to have ever played the game, he is actually the second man to reach 100 Champions League goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, Messi’s old rival and fellow five-time Ballon d’Or winner, is inevitably that player and he sits well clear of the Barcelona man on 117 goals in the Champions League.

With the use of Opta data, we assess which of Messi and Ronaldo has the most impressive record in Europe’s premier club competition.

123 – Messi has taken 123 appearances in the Champions League to reach three figures in the competition – with 112 of those starts.

137 – By contrast, Ronaldo took 14 more games to bring up the landmark, also playing 1,758 more minutes to do so.

266 – Messi’s 100 Champions League goals came from 524 shots, compared to 790 for Ronaldo – a difference of 266.

81 – Messi’s opener against Chelsea came with his right foot, but the vast majority of his 100 Champions League goals – 81 of them – have been with his stronger left.

11 – Messi has not always been accurate from the penalty spot, but he has converted 11 of the 14 spot-kicks he has taken in the Champions League.

12 – Andres Iniesta, Barcelona’s captain, has provided the assist for 12 of Messi’s 100 goals in the Champions League, with Dani Alves his nearest rival on nine.

9 – Messi’s favourite opponent in the Champions League has been Arsenal, the 30-year-old netting nine times in six appearances against the Gunners. He has also scored eight goals in eight Champions League games against AC Milan, while seven in three appearances against Bayer Leverkusen is highly impressive too.

14 – The 2011-12 season was Messi’s most prolific in the Champions League, hitting 14 goals in the competition to top the scoring charts, although Barcelona were beaten by Chelsea in the semi-finals that campaign.


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