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Leo Messi has done it again. Some players are famed for their goals, others for their speed, others for their skill. Some are dead ball specialists, some lay on assists, some are sheer physical prowess. But Leo Messi is all of that and more, and tonight against Celta we were once again treated to the man at his very best.
52 free kick goals
Messi scored a hat-trick of goals from set piece. One was a superbly executed penalty, while the other two were free kicks served with exquisite, calculated excellence. For most players, there is an element of luck in scoring from a free kick. Not with Messi. He always knows exactly where he wants the ball to go, and it usually hits the sweet spot. Tonight he did it twice.
He makes it look so simple. People have analysed the way he does in staggering depth. But nobody has worked out how to stop him. He has now amassed 52 career goals from free kicks. Most players don’t manage that many goals full stop. And we can be sure there are plenty more where those came from.
Record in the Big Five
Messi alone has scored more free kicks since the 2011/12 season than any other team in the big five European leagues. Not players. Teams! Messi has converted 29 in La Liga, while everyone at Juventus combined have scored 27, Real Madrid have 23, Roma and Olympique Lyonnais have 21 and PSG have 20.
There are no words to describe what that means!
34 Liga hat-tricks
His treble against Celta, was Messi’s 34th in the Spanish championship, equalling Cristiano Ronaldo’s record. One more and he’ll be out there on his own. Today’s was also the first hat-trick by anyone in this season’s Liga. It took 124 games for someone to do, and it comes as no surprise to see who finally did it!
Nine goals in seven games
Despite missing some of the early fixtures through injury, Messi is now top of the pops in the Liga goalscoring chart. We are 12 games into the season, but Messi has only played in seven of them and yet he’s outscored all his rivals.
And some people have the audacity to say that Messi is past his best. Nonsense!
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