Paris Saint-Germain maintained their unbeaten begin to the 2022-23 Champions League workforce degree due to a 1-1 draw in opposition to Benfica on Wednesday evening — an evening on which Lionel Messi wrote his identify into the contest file books as soon as once more.
The Argentine maestro opened the scoring on the Estadio da Luz with a phenomenal curling effort that noticed him change into the primary participant to attain in opposition to 40 other groups within the Champions League.
Messi latched directly to a Neymar lend a hand to bend a lovely first-time effort previous Benfica keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos from 20 yards to attain from out of doors the realm for the twelfth time in his Champions League profession. Peerless as ever, no participant has discovered the online from vary extra continuously within the final decade.
As if his ability was once ever doubtful, the 35-year-old is on a six-game scoring streak for membership and nation that represents his easiest run of shape in entrance of goal for the reason that 2018-19 season. He is again to his easiest and, with 127 targets within the Champions League to his credit score, he is additionally inside of touching distance of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s festival file of 141 targets.
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Benfica turned into the 40th membership added to Messi’s lengthy record of vanquished Champions League fighters — lower than a month after Israeli facet Maccabi Haifa turned into the thirty ninth when he netted in opposition to them in a 3-1 victory in mid-September. That goal noticed Messi overtake perennial sparring spouse Ronaldo, with the Portuguese having scored in opposition to 38 other golf equipment within the Champions League as issues stand.
Top scorers in Champions League vs. other golf equipment
1. Lionel Messi: 40 golf equipment
2. Cristiano Ronaldo: 38 golf equipment
3. Karim Benzema: 34 golf equipment
4. Raul Gonzalez: 33 golf equipment
5. Robert Lewandowski: 31 golf equipment
6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 29 golf equipment
7. Thomas Muller: 29 golf equipment
8. Ruud van Nistelrooy: 25 golf equipment
9. Thierry Henry: 24 golf equipment
10. Sergio Aguero: 24 golf equipment
Since the UEFA Champions League was once inaugurated as a contest in 1992-93, 100 other golf equipment from throughout Europe have taken section and Messi has now scored in opposition to 40% of them.
No membership has felt his wrath somewhat like Arsenal, who’ve conceded extra targets to him than another team. He has 9 targets in six video games in opposition to the Gunners in Europe — together with 4 in a single fit in 2010 — a prolific single-opponent spree that is composed of a goal each 59 mins, 40 seconds.
Bayer Leverkusen have taken the most important single-game hit to this point, when Messi rattled 5 targets in a single fit in opposition to the bewildered Germans to encourage Barcelona to a complete 7-1 win in March 2012.
Arsenal: 9 targets in 6 video games (537 mins in general)
Celtic: 8 targets in 6 video games (488 minutes)
AC Milan: 8 targets in 8 video games (720 minutes)
Bayer Leverkusen: 7 targets in 3 video games (270 minutes)
Manchester City: 7 targets in 8 video games (720 minutes)
Ajax: 6 targets in 3 video games (247 minutes)
Paris Saint-Germain: 6 targets in 10 video games (794 minutes)
Lyon: 5 targets in 6 video games (538 minutes)
Bayern Munich: 4 targets in 6 video games (540 minutes)
Manchester United: 4 targets in 6 video games (512 minutes)
Messi has most effective ever scored one Champions League goal in opposition to Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, Ferencvaros, Maccabi Haifa, Napoli, Olympiakos, Rangers, Slavia Prague, Sporting CP, Werder Bremen and Benfica, the most recent addition to his hitlist.
He has confronted a complete of 44 other golf equipment from 19 other nations in Europe’s elite festival and to this point has most effective failed to attain in opposition to 4 of them: Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Rubin Kazan and Udinese.
With Atletico and Inter each collaborating on this yr’s festival, it’s completely believable that he may prolong his unbelievable Champions League file even additional sooner than the top of the 2022-23 season.