Barcelona is a long shot to claim a third-straight La Liga title but that isn’t stopping Lionel Messi from setting new standards.
Messi slipped Arturo Vidal through for the lone goal of Barcelona’s win at Real Valladolid on Sunday, collecting his 20th assist of the league season in the process.
The helper makes Messi the second player this century to record 20 goals and 20 assists in a top five European league season after his former teammate Thierry Henry did it with Arsenal (24+20). Messi has 22 goals this season.
He’s also the first player to do it in La Liga, and the first to record 20 assists in a La Liga season since another former teammate, Xavi Hernandez.
Messi is one of eight players in Europe’s top five leagues to score 20-plus goals and one of only two with 20 assists (Thomas Muller). Only five others have double-digit goals and assists: Kevin De Bruyne, Serge Gnabry, Jadon Sancho, Alassane Plea, and Mikel Oyarzabal.
Barcelona hosts Osasuna and visits Alaves on the final two match days of the season. Can he match or even beat Henry’s goal output? He has 30 goals in 28 career appearances against the aforementioned opponents.
Real Madrid will edge closer to wrapping up the league with a win at Granada on Monday. Zinedine Zidane’s men are on an incredible and near-imperious run, having won eight-straight games and riding a 457-minute league shutout streak.
Real currently leads Barca by a point with a match-in-hand, then finish with Villarreal and Leganes.
GOAL FOR BARCELONA! 🔵🔴
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) July 11, 2020