Messi and Cesc / PHOTO: FCB

The connection between Messi and Cesc dates back to the youth teams when they played together and now it's beginning to pay dividends for the first team. Between the two of them they have scored 65 of the team's 143 goals and made 47 assists.

Nearly 50% of the team's goals

Messi, with 50 goals in all competitions so far this season – just three short of his personal best for a whole campaign – is the goal king. The Argentinean now needs just five more to equal Cesar's record as the Club's highest all-time scorer.

In his first season back at the Club, Cesc has so far scored 15 goals  - 9 in the league, 1 in the Champions League 3 in the Spanish Cup and one more in the European Super Cup and World Club Cup.

Providers too

Both players have shown that they can provide as well as score, with Messi claiming 21 assists and Cesc 16 so far.

Best passing stats

Barça's attacking possession based style is also reflected in the stats for the best passers in the final third of the pitch across the top five Europeaan leagues. Messi and Xavi head the list with 911 and 844 passes respectively, whilst the defender Alves is ninth – ahead of players with a theoretically much more offensive profile such as Verdú, Arteta, Modric, Rooney, Ibrahimovic or Özil.

Europe’s Top 5 passers

The top five passers of the ball in the last third of the pitch across the top 5 European leagues are:

1.- Messi : 911
2.- Xavi: 844
3.- Silva: 763
4.- Pirlo: 731
5.- Hazard: 704

(Font: Opta Sports)

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