Decoding Lionel Messi's numbers in the UEFA Champions League
Lionel Messi scored his maiden goal for Paris Saint-Germain in his side's 2-0 win over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League 2021-22 season. Matchday 2 saw PSG secure a vital win against last season's finalists as they are top of Group A. Messi, who moved to PSG in the summer after being forced to leave Barcelona, has tremendous numbers in the UCL.
With his goal against City in the second half, Messi has extended his tally to 121 goals in the Champions League. Messi had netted 120 UCL goals for Barcelona prior to his move to the French giants. Notably, Messi is the second-highest scorer in Champions League history and is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 136 goals.
As per Opta, Messi has scored more Champions League goals against Manchester City (7) than any other player. Also, his seven goals against sides managed by Pep Guardiola (two vs Bayern Munich, five against Man City with him as manager) are also the most of any player. Messi has become the second player in Champions League history to score in 17 successive seasons.
Messi has ended as the top scorer on six occasions in a single UCL campaign (group stage to final). He topped the show in 2008-09 for Barcelona (9 goals). He continued his run for Barca, achieving the feat five more times (8 in 2009-10, 12 in 2010-11, 14 in 2011-12, 10 in 2014-15, and 12 in 2018-19).
Messi has scored 27 goals in 35 appearances against English teams in the Champions League. This is 15 more than any other player in the competition.
Messi has the joint-most hat-tricks in the Champions League (8) alongside Ronaldo. Messi scored two hat-tricks in a single season on two occasions (2011-12, 2016-17). Notably, Messi and Ronaldo hit successive hat-tricks in 2016-17 (2). Messi holds the record for most goals in a Champions League match (5). He achieved the tally against Bayer Leverkusen in 2011-12.
Messi has netted the most goals in the group stages of the Champions League (72) and leads Ronaldo in this regard (69). Messi is the fastest to 100 goals in the Champions League. He took just 123 games and is above Ronaldo, who took 144 matches. Messi's 120 UCL goals for Barcelona is the most by any player for a single club.
Messi is second on the list for most assists in Champions League history (36). He is only behind Ronaldo (42). Messi finished as the top assist provider in two different UCL campaigns (2011-12 and 2014-15). Messi has the third-joint most appearances in the Champions League alongside Xavi (151). He has won four Champions League titles (all with Barcelona).