Leo Messi scoring one of his three goals against Viktoria. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

It’s always special to play in San Mamés and that's cetainly the case for Leo Messi this Sunday. The Barça goalscorer has a threefold challenge ahead of him in La Catedral: to win a game at the notoriously difficult Basque stadium, to score his first away goal in this edition of La Liga, and to score in San Mamés, one of three La Liga stadiums where Messi has yet to score.

Three games in La Liga and one in the Copa

On September 30th, 2006 the Argentinian wasn’t able to score during his first appearance at San Mamés. The trend continued but not for lack of opportunity: Lafuente, in his debut game, Aranzubia, in 2008, and Gorka, in 2009 and in last season’s Copa del Rey game, made it impossible for Messi to find the back of the net. However, Messi has never lost in one of La Liga’s toughest stadiums. The Argentinian managed three draws and one victory during his visits to La Catedral.

Five away goals in the Champions League

Messi is determined to score his first away goal in La Liga. The fact that he hasn't added to his La Liga goal tally away from the Camp Nou is simply anecdotal. The double Ballon d’Or winner has had a fantastic 18 goal start to the season, 13 in La Liga and 5 in the Champions League.

Curiously enough, the five goals he’s scored away from the Camp Nou were all in the Champions League: a hat-trick against Viktoria in Prague and a brace in Minsk against BATE Borisov. Messi doesn’t suffer from “Camp Nou dependency” when it comes to scoring. In fact, of the 31 goals he scored last season, 16 were netted away from the Camp Nou.

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