Messi's goalscoring exploits after nine games throughout his career
Since he first started with Barcelona (2005-06), Messi has not had as few goals this late in a LaLiga campgain despite suffering various injuries.
Two goals in nine LaLiga games is a very meagre return for Lionel Messi to start his LaLiga campaign. He hasn't played in five of those games, to be fair, after suffering injuries in his soleus at inopportune times. They are, however, his worst numbers since starting his career at Barcelona during the 2005-06 season.
Since 2006-07, the Argentina has always scored more than two goals in nine games to start the league. His average, in fact, is 7.3 goals in nine games. It has been a slow start but nobody is betting against him. He has scored against Sevilla and Eibar in the last two games. He scored against Slavia Prague in the Champions League too. That's three in three in case you weren't counting and he's only just getting back his match sharpness.
He has, however, missed chances he would usually score. There was a one-on-one against Dmitrovic at Ipurua and another he missed from point blank range against Slavia Prague. That would have ended the game as a contest but instead Barcelona were made to sweat for the final minutes.
Last time Messi started the league poorly was in 2015-16. He hurt himself in the sixth game that season and only score three in the opening nine as a result. He ended the season with 26 goals. Luis Suárez picked up the Golden Boot award with 40 in the same year and Messi dedicated himself almost full time to laying off assists for his teammate.
His best start came in 2012 when he netted 13 times to start the season and finished with 46 in the league. In 2011-12, the year he scored 50, he has 10 by the time the 10th game came around.
The strange thing here is not that he has two goals after nine games to start the season, it is the regularity with which he started the seasons before. He is left chasing the pack this season but with as he chases his own records and continually outdoes himself, he is all set for another massive season for Barça now that the injuries seem to have subsided.
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