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Lionel Messi – end of an Era, Leo quits Barcelona

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Lionel Messi – end of an Era, Leo quits Barcelona

Lionel Messi - end of an Era, Leo quits Barcelona

Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona – the club he played for all his career – this is widely referred to as the end of an era. The Catalan club announced the news on Thursday citing “economic and structural obstacles.” After becoming a free agent at the end of last season Messi was expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona and it was also reported that he agreed on a 50% pay cut.

However, LaLiga’s salary restrictions didn’t allow Blaugrana to re-sign their greatest ever player due to the club’s dire financial situation. As per sports news today football, the move of the Argentine legend is unknown but the sensational development ends a glittering Camp Nou career. Manchester City and PSG were linked to sign Leo.

Numbers that left behind Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou

Stats Perform examines some of the forward’s incredible feats with the Blaugrana using Opta data. Messi made 778 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions, where he scored 672 goals and provided 265 assists. That equates to 937 goal involvements in his Barca career, which began when he was 17 years old.

Eight different people coached Messi during his time with Barcelona. During Pep Guardiola’s tenure, he appeared the most (219 times) and scored the most goals (211). However, Messi’s 60 goals in 50 games under the late Tito Vilanova – an average of 1.20 goals per game – were his best goals-per-game return with a single coach. Unsurprisingly, Messi’s lowest average goals-per-game ratio was during the Rijkaard era at the start of his career (0.38), followed by 0.63 under Quique Setien between January and August 2020.

As a Barcelona player in 2011-12, Messi had his most productive season when he scored 73 goals in all competitions and provided 28 assists, setting a personal record in both categories. Indeed, the forward scored 79 goals for his club in a calendar year in 2012, a record for a single player. His most productive year was 2010 when he registered 58 times.

In recent years, Messi has scored 51 goals in 2016, 50 goals in 2017, 47 goals in 2018, 45 goals in 2019, and 26 goals in 2020 – a steady decline that he has already corrected this year, with 28 goals in the first half of 2021. He is the only player in LaLiga history to have scored 10 or more goals in 15 consecutive seasons.

Messi managed to net 672 goals for Barcelona against 82 different teams. Sevilla was his favourite opponent, and against them, he scored 38 goals in 43 appearances. Atletico Madrid is listed second, with Messi scoring 32 goals in that game, followed by Valencia (31), Athletic Bilbao (29), and bitter rivals Real Madrid (26), making him the all-time leading scorer in El Clasico.

Individual goalkeepers were Messi’s worst enemies, with the former Almeria and Valencia man conceding 21 goals against the Argentina superstar. Iker Casillas with Real Madrid was joint-third with 17 goals against, one fewer than Messi’s 18 goals past Gorka Iraizoz.

Messi is a well-known synonymous with Camp Nou, where he has scored 394 goals in 381 games at an average of 1.03 goals per game. Madrid fans will be sick of him because he has 15 goals in 22 games at the Santiago Bernabeu, his second favourite venue.

Then comes Vicente Calderon, the former home of Atletico Madrid (14 goals in 20 appearances). Estadio Riazor of Deportivo La Coruna (13 in 8) and Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan of Sevilla (13 in 18) round out the top five. On the other end of the spectrum, Messi has played in the Allianz Arena of Bayern Munich three times without scoring, more than any other stadium for Barcelona. He has also failed to score in two trips to Anfield and Old Trafford in England.

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