What teams bring out the killer in Lionel Messi? Which teams are his kryptonite?
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Lionel Messi has scored well over 100 UEFA Champions League goals, but does he enjoy meeting some teams more than others?
• Messi has scored 118 goals in 12,040 minutes of European football; that's a goal every 102 minutes and two seconds.
• The Argentinian has faced 42 different clubs in Europe (from 16 countries), failing to score against five: Atlético Madrid, Benfica, Internazionale Milano, Rubin Kazan and Udinese.
• His goal against Napoli on 8 August 2020 meant Messi has scored versus a record 37 clubs in the competition.
• Atlético and Inter are the sides Messi has gone longest without scoring against: 360 minutes in UEFA competition.
• Chelsea are the team Messi has played the most minutes against (835 across ten matches); he did not score in his first 730 minutes facing the Blues, but struck three times in two games against them in 2017/18.
• The keeper who has gone the longest without conceding against Messi in Europe is Inter's Júlio César – 270 minutes – though Rubin Kazan's Sergei Ryzhikov may feel he has the moral right to that title. He has been unbeaten in 237 minutes against Messi; that run took in four matches, as opposed to Júlio César's three.
• Messi has scored more goals against Arsenal than any other team in UEFA competition – nine in 447 minutes comprising six games. On average, that's a goal every 49 minutes and 40 seconds.
• The Blaugrana man's most amenable opponents look to be Bayer Leverkusen: Messi has hit seven goals in 270 minutes against them, at a rate of one every 38 minutes and 34 seconds. Five of those strikes famously came in one match, a 7-1 win on 7 March 2012.
Who has Messi scored against in UEFA competition?
|Opponents by club||Games||Minutes||Goals||Minutes per goal|
• Of the big five European footballing nations, German opponents seem to suit Messi best: he scores on average every 73 minutes and 32 seconds against Bundesliga clubs. Goals are much rarer against sides from England (every 101 minutes 12 seconds), France (128 minutes), Italy (160 minutes 18 seconds) and Spain (187 minutes 30 seconds).
• Messi may relish Portuguese rearguards least of all; in 478 minutes against Liga teams, he has scored just twice – a goal every 239 minutes.
Which nations' clubs has Messi scored against?
|Opponents by nationality||Games||Minutes||Goals||Minutes per goal|
When Messi has scored his UEFA club competition goals
• Messi is relatively slow to get started after the whistle; his least prolific scoring periods are at the start of either half. By contrast, he seems to hit something of a critical goalscoring velocity in the final minutes, 14 goals between the 86th minute and the final whistle.
• Messi has scored 12 penalties in UEFA competition but failed to find the target with three; two saved (v Panathinaikos, September 2010, and v Manchester City, February 2015) and one against the crossbar (v Chelsea, April 2012).
Last updated 08/08/2020