I used to call Andrés Iniesta the Spanish Landon Donovan – and the other way around. It was mostly a hairline joke, but after seeing this picture (right)1 of the all-world Barcelona midfielder celebrating his Tuesday Champions League goal, I’m going to have to stop. I’m just not sure Landon would look as cool sucking his thumb (please, Landon, do this at one point this year so we can find out?).
Messi about to lead Barcelona to club scoring mark
After Iniesta’s match-clincher, Barcelona sits on 157 all-competition goals this season and are on the verge of smashing their long-standing club record of 158 goals.
That mark was set all the way back in 2008-09 – Pep Guardiola’s first season, when the club reclaimed Spain while winning Champions League. Along the way, Lionel Messi scored 38 times (which, at the time, seemed like a lot of goals). Samuel Eto’o added 36 goals, while then-New York Red Bulls-prospect Thierry Henry scored 28 times.
This year, only one player’s scored more than 15 (so far): Lionel Messi, with 57.
League scoring mark within Real Madrid’s reach
And even amid all that, Barcelona may not have the best attack in Spain. That’s because their arch-rivals, Real Madrid, sit on 100 league goals after their 5-1 win at Osasuna on Saturday. It’s the quickest a Liga team has reached the century mark and, with eight matches left in the Spanish campaign, has them on pace to break the league record of 107 set by the club in 1989-90.
Though still lead by an alpha, Real’s had two other protagonists in their scoring charge. Gonzalo Higuaín has potted 20 goals, while co-starting striker Karim Benzema has netted 17 times. No other Merengue has more than five league goals.
Ronaldo, Messi could break league scoring mark this weekend
Ronaldo, however, is still miles ahead. His 37 goals are already one short of the league record (set last year, by him). While he’s destined to break that mark, it’s unclear whether he’ll set the new one. Messi, with 36 goals, might decide he wants that record, too.
Both men could pass 38 this weekend. Real Madrid hosts with Jekyll or Hyde in Valencia, while Barcelona visits resurgent Real Zaragoza.
1 – H/T to @Barcastuff