Messi makes Champions League history

March, 7, 2012

After an incredible five-goal performance by Lionel Messi against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, here is some statistical context to what he accomplished.

• Messi becomes the first player in Champions League history to score five goals in a match. Seven players (including Messi against Arsenal two seasons ago) have scored four in a match.

• Messi moved from sixth to fourth on the all-time Champions League goal-scoring list with 49 goals, jumping Filippo Inzaghi (46) and Andriy Shevchenko (48). He is one goal behind Thierry Henry for third on the all-time list.

• Messi now has 12 goals in the Champions League this season, matching the Champions League goal record for a single season. Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002-03 and Messi last season also scored 12.

• Messi is averaging 3.3 goals per match in his past four outings for club and country. He has three hat tricks in his past four matches overall.

• Four of Messi's five goals came with his left foot. No other player has scored more than four goals with his left foot in the past two Champions League seasons combined. Messi has 20 total during that span.

Albert Larcada is an Analytics Specialist in ESPN's Stats & Information group. Among other analytics projects, he maintains, advances and writes about ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) algorithm.


You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?