Battle with Ronaldo, Arsenal assassin – Messi's 100 Champions League goals in Opta numbers
It was another landmark night for Lionel Messi, and we used Opta numbers to look at his 100 Champions League goals for Barcelona.
Lionel Messi further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest of all time by becoming the second player to 100 Champions League goals on Wednesday.
The Argentina superstar was in phenomenal form at Camp Nou with two goals and an assist, as Barcelona beat Chelsea 3-0 win to secure a 4-1 aggregate triumph in the last-16 tie.
Unsurprisingly, only Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo can boast more goals in Europe's premier competition.
Below, we have used Opta data to crunch the remarkable numbers behind Messi's latest landmark.
02:08 - Lionel Messi has scored the fastest goal of his career (Barcelona and Argentina). Ray. pic.twitter.com/CcGY4InWmy— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 14, 2018
BATTLE WITH RONALDO
It remains to be seen if there will ever be a time when two phenomenal talents like Messi and Ronaldo play in the same era, and their battle for supremacy has been no more apparent than in the Champions League.
Ronaldo leads the way in terms of goals scored with a scarcely believable 117. But Messi needed just 123 games compared the former Manchester United star's 137 to achieve the feat.
At 30 years and 263 days, Messi was also younger than Ronaldo when he hit the mark, the Portugal captain 32 years and 72 days when he did so.
100 - Lionel Messi is the second player in Champions League history to score 100 goals, after Cristiano Ronaldo (117). Milestone. pic.twitter.com/BDFRj9xWPI— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 14, 2018
Messi needed fewer shots with 524 to Ronaldo's 790, while it took the Argentina forward 10,090 minutes as opposed to the Madrid man's 11,848.
The best Champions League campaign Messi enjoyed was in 2011-12 when he finished with 14, and only Ronaldo's return of 17 in 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons can better that.
There are few more potent weapons in world football than Messi's trusty left foot, and it should be no surprise that 81 of his goals have been scored from that source.
His right foot accounts for 15, including his opening strike against Chelsea, while the diminutive forward has celebrated four headers.
For fans of symmetry, there is almost an even split in terms of first-half and second-half strikes, with 49 before the half-time whistle and 51 after the break.
Penalties account for 11 of Messi's goals, while he has scored three direct free-kicks as part of 14 goals from outside of the box.
4 - Barcelona have only lost four of their 39 Champions League knockout games at home (W25 D10). Fort. pic.twitter.com/61tAopTsBI— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 14, 2018
Camp Nou has celebrated 57 Messi Champions League goals, and he has 41 away from home and two at neutral venues.
ARSENAL ASSASSIN, GENEROUS INIESTA
Arsenal have been familiar opponents to Barcelona in recent years, and Messi has been a constant thorn in Arsene Wenger's side with nine goals in six appearances against the Gunners.
AC Milan and Celtic have also suffered against Messi's brilliance, both conceding eight, while Bayer Leverkusen have shipped seven in just three matches against him.
Continuing that theme, goalkeepers from Leverkusen and Milan – Bernd Leno and Christian Abbiati – have proved Messi's favourite men to beat between the sticks, with seven scored against both, while former Arsenal stopper Manuel Almunia let in six.
Messi has, of course, had the luxury of playing alongside many modern-day greats, and Andres Iniesta is the player who has assisted his team-mate the most in the Champions League with 11.
Dani Alves comes in next on nine, while Luis Suarez – part of the now disbanded devastating MSN trio that also included Neymar – has provided seven, with Neymar contributing five assists before departing for Paris Saint-Germain.
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