Half way through the first round is a good point to take stock of the duels that have taken place so far
The Best Goal Ever, the contest launched at the end of 2018 to decide the greatest goal in Barça history, has reached the halfway mark of its first stage. A total of 16 goals have already secured their place in the second round, while another 32 will be up for the vote from Friday.
Meanwhile, here are some initial conclusions:
1- Messi always comes through ...
The Argentine's five goals that have entered the competition so far have all progressed, easily eliminating strikes from Romario, Neymar Jr, Krankl and Overmars, while only Guardiola could put up a challenge, with 36% of the votes. There are still more goals from Messi yet to be put up for voting.
2- Ronaldinho also has a perfect record
Ronaldinho has had all three of his goals chosen for the next round, seeing off rival bids from Kluivert, Maradona and Villa.
3- The closest call
The December 28th head-to-head between two goals by Ronald Koeman and Samuel Eto'o - in different Champions League finals - has so far been the most even of the 16 contested. It was taken by the Dutch master's strike at Wembley with 53% of the vote.
4- Old or new?
Whilst Messi's five goals have all gone through to the next round, the old guard have also received plenty of plaudits. For example: Koeman overcame Suarez, Rexach eliminated Pizzi and Cruyff knocked out Bakero.
5 - Beauty or importance?
For the moment, the more attractive the goal, the more chance it has of progressing. The clearest example has been the December 30 tie, in which a goal by Alves against Real Madrid in a Copa del Rey quarter final was voted as better than that scored by Juliano Belletti in the 2006 Champions League final.