Messi and Busquets / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Two against Rayo, three against Malaga and four more against Espanyol on Saturday: that’s nine goals in his last three games for Leo Messi - his second best run since he debuted with the first team, only bettered by the 10 goals he scored against Valencia (5-1, 4 goals), Atletico Madrid(1-2, 1 goal) and Bayer Leverkusen (7-1, 5 goals).

More than 13 teams have managed

Those nine have taken him from 41 to 50 goals over the last week and that’s a figure that 13 of the La Liga teams haven’t managed. The league’s lowest scores, Racing have scored just 26, nearly half of Messi’s haul and only six other teams have managed more than him: Madrid (117), Valencia (59), Malaga (53), Bilbao (52), Rayo Vallecano (52) and Llevant (51). Anotehr hat trick this coming weekend could even see Messi overhaul these last three teams if they all fail to score.

Leader in Europe too

Compared with teams in the main European leagues, Messi 50 goals from 36 games means he’s outscored 15 French teams in La Ligue (over 35 games), 14 of the Premier League’s teams(after 37 games), 13 Bundesliga outfits (after completing their 34 games) and 12 of the Serie A teams in Italy. He is the goal king!

More than twice the goals of 49 Pitxitxis

Messi’s 50 league goals are more than twice as many as 49 of the competition’s previous leading goalscorers, who include Zarra (19 goals in season 1944/45 and 24 in 1945/46), Di Stéfano (24 goals in 1955/56), Puskas (20 goals in 1963/64), Quini (20 goals in 1973/74, 18 in 1975/76, 24 in 1979/80 and 20 in 1980/81), Hugo Sánchez (19 goals in 1984/85 and 22 in 1985/86), Raúl González (25 goals in 1998/99 and 24 in 2000/01) and Ronaldo (24 goals in 2003/04).

His average of 1,39 goals a game is the fourth highest amongst Pitxitxis, only bettered by ‘Bata’ (1,59 goals in 1930/31, with 27 goals in 17 games), Lángara (1,44 goals in 1933/34, with 26 goals in 18 games) and Zarra (1,42 goals in 1946/47, with 34 goals in 24 games) and the same as the ex- Barça goalscorer Martín (1,39 goals in 1942/43, with 32 goals in 23 games).