Lionel Messi broke the scoring record for the elimination rounds of the Champions League when he scored during Barcelona’s away win against Bayer Leverkusen. The Germans were not spared Messi’s heroics as the Barca wizards scored near the end of the match to register his 19th goal in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition.
The fact Messi has managed to score more than Real Madrid’s legend Raul and former Milan hero Andriy Shevchenko, both tied at 18 goals in the knockout phase, only adds to the Barca star’s growing legend at the age of 24. This is a testament not just to his prowess but also his ability to score on the big stage with 6 of his goals coming against some of Europe’s giants such as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Messi scored two goals against each of those three clubs.
Some of his most remarkable feats came against English side Arsenal against whom he scored 6 goals. However, Messi is a big stage performer and he proved it by scoring in both finals against Manchester United.
Messi and his teammates might not be able to retain the La Liga title but Barca will likely lift the Copa del Rey and is a serious contender to go all the way in the Champions League. If the Catalans manage to win both trophies and miraculously recover to win La Liga then Messi will certainly be a big reason why Barca’s players were able to do so.
Even on a team with impressive players such as Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas, Lionel remains a star cut above the rest. Messi’s heroic rise over the years has not made him arrogant or selfish. He is a great scorer but also a joy to watch with his dribbling skills as well as his selfless approach.
Messi is much more than just individualistic brilliance because he also has great team spirit and impressive work ethic. He has managed a total of 44 goals in the Champions League while providing his teammates with assists on 14 other occasions.