BY THE NUMBERS: Leo Messi goes top in chase for Golden Shoe
A brace against Leganés moves the Argentinian ahead of team-mate Luis Suárez and level with Higuaín (Juventus) and Dzeko (Roma), who also have nineteen goals this season
01:00PM Monday 20 Feb
Leo Messi hit the target twice in the 2-1 victory over Leganés on Sunday (highlights; match report), and that changes a lot of things both at home and in Europe:
After scoring both Barça’s goals, Messi has leap-frogged Luis Suárez at the top of the Liga goalscoring charts. The Argentinian now has 19, and the Uruguayan remains on 18.
Those 19 goals also put Messi joint first in the Golden Shoe race. With the Liga coefficient, he has 38 points, the same as Gonzalo Higuaín of Juventus and Edin Dzeko of AS Roma. All three are ahead of Edinson Cavani, who might have scored more goals, 25, but the Ligue 1 coefficient of 1.5 means they only count for 37.5 points.
Overall this season, Messi has 33 goals once factoring in his 10 goals in the Champions League, four in the Copa del Rey and one in the Spanish Super Cup.
That’s 11 goals in Leo Messi’s account for the 14 games played by Barça in 2017. Around Europe, such form can only be compared to Alexandre Lacazette of Olympique Lyon and Dzeko of AS Roma. They’re followed by Cavani of PSG, with 10, and his team-mate Luis Suárez with nine (six in La Liga and three in the Copa del Rey).
Messi’s two goals against Leganés were his first brace of the year. He had scored home and away against Athletic Club in the Cup, and also in the League against the same side, as well as against Villarreal, Las Palmas, Eibar, Real Sociedad (Cup), Atlético Madrid (Cup) and Alavés, but this was the first time he has doubled up since the Christmas break.
The Argentinian has played a total of 1,234 minutes this year between League and Cup games, which equates to one goal every 112 minutes.