Deportivo keeper Rubén’s penalty save from Leo Messi in Barça’s 4-0 victory in the Camp Nou on Sunday night brought up a curious statistic concerning the lethal Argentinean: of his 83 penalties for Barcelona, Messi has missed 19, at 23 percent almost a quarter of his total attempts.
Despite his ability to flummox an entire defence and to pick the smallest of gaps from the tightest of angles, often while running at full tilt, the penalty spot appears to defy Messi.
One of the Argentinean’s most infamous penalty misses came in the Champions League semi-finals against Chelsea in 2011-12, when his attempt hammered Petr Cech's crossbar.
Messi's Clásico record
However, it is worth remembering in a Clásico week that Messi decided a 3-4 victory in the Bernabéu in March 2014 by hitting two penalties past Diego López, with the Spaniard not getting a glove to either, to pull his side to victory from 3-2 down.
That was not the first time that Messi rescued points for his side in the Clásico. In 2010-11 he beat Iker Casillas from the spot to give Barça the lead before Cristiano Ronaldo equalised late on in a 1-1 draw.