Not many records escape Leo Messi’s magic touch and today against Valladolid he added a new one by setting up Arturo Vidal to make it 1-0. That was his 20th assist of the campaign, equalling the extraordinary tally set by Xavi Hernández just over a decade ago.
And he still has another two games to extend on that record.
It was on 19 November 2005 that he supplied his first goal, in his first ever appearance at the Santiago Bernabéu. Samuel Eto’o finished off the job and got one more that season. But like everything where the Argentinian was concerned, there was a lot more to come.
Since 2006/07, he has made 10 assists or more in every season apart from 2016/17, when he got nine. But this is the first time he has made it to 20, as Xavi Hernández also did in 2008/09.
Messi is having a simply outstanding year. As well as leading the way in assists, he is also top scorer in La Liga with 22 goals. Adding the Copa del Rey and Champions League to his tally, he has 24 assists in total, just five short of his all-time record in all competition, the 29 goals he set up in 2014/15.