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Lionel Messi aims to end goal drought against Atlético Madrid

David Ramos/Getty Images

Ever since his return from the international break, it is safe to assume Lionel Messi hasn't been himself. The stats show.

The Barcelona superstar has not scored in the last four games, the worst goal drought in more than two years dating back to January 2014. Then, Messi also failed to find the back of the net in four straight fixtures, three of them against Levante, and one against Málaga.

Messi's last goal for Barça this season was against Arsenal at Camp Nou in the return leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Since then, the Blaugrana striker went through the entire four games against Villarreal, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad, marking more than six hours without bagging a single score.

And the drought is not a result of Messi not trying. In the last four games, Leo has taken a total of 20 shots, four of them on target. A mix of bad luck and good goalkeeping has kept Messi from finding the back of the net again. Plus, the Argentinean is certainly not in the best form of his career, and his overall performances along with the lack of goals show that even the best player in the world goes through a tough stretch.

Messi, his teammates and coaches, and Barça fans worldwide all hope this bad stretch comes to an end in the biggest game of the season, on Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Atlético Madrid, who just happen to be Leo's favorite scoring opponent. If Messi's streak is over, it's safe to assume Barça will reach the semifinals.

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