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Ridiculous stat: Messi has more freekick goals than penalties since 2018/19

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Photo via Imago

Barcelona captain and talisman Lionel Messi was once again at the heart of proceedings as his brace helped Barcelona see off Valencia in a tricky away fixture. Winless at the Mestella since 2016, Barcelona needed a win desperately in a bid to keep their hopes of a 27th La Liga title alive.

In what was a far from convincing display, Barcelona came back from behind to win 3-2 in a nervy affair, salvaged by two goals from Lionel Messi. The first, a fortuitous rebound for the equaliser from his own missed penalty, and the second, a gorgeous free-kick to make the scoreline secure after Antoine Griezmann made it 2-1.

However, the missed penalty and free-kick meant that the talismanic Argentine now has 14 free-kick goals in La Liga for Barcelona since the 2018/19 season. This is two more than the twelve penalties he has scored in the same time period. Truly ridiculous numbers, even by Lionel Messi’s astronomical standards.

A sumptuous strike from the medicine-man. (Photo via Imago)

His goal against Los Che was his 50th free-kick goal for Barcelona, and he also matched his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of 56 career goals from dead-ball situations. However, his penalty woes still seem to be a constant source of worry for the team and the fans. It is comical how Messi manages to score the tougher chances and scuff the 12-yard spot-kicks with an xG of 0.75.

Messi’s brace secured him his 27th and 28th league goals for the season, as he now sits seven goals clear of second-placed Karim Benzema in the race for the Pichichi. At the rate he’s firing, there is hardly any doubt that the 33-year old superstar will surpass the 30-goal barrier once again this season.

Editor. | Forever thinking about Bob Marley's words which hold true to this day - "Football is a whole skill to itself. A whole world. A whole universe to itself... Football is freedom."