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Lionel Messi nears Cristiano Ronaldo’s La Liga penalty record

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With a penalty goal against Leganés, Messi is just five behind the former Real Madrid forward

Barcelona V Real Sociedad Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

With a penalty goal against Leganés, Lionel Messi secured a 2-0 win for FC Barcelona. That was his 56th penalty goal in La Liga, drawing closer to Cristiano Ronaldo’s record, which stands at 61.

Ronaldo played for Real Madrid between 2009 and 2018. In that span, he attempted 72 penalties in the league. Messi has attempted 68 such shots since debuting for Barcelona in 2004.

With his latest goal, Messi tied Hugo Sánchez on the list of penalty goals. The Mexico and Real Madrid legend retired with 56 La Liga penalty goals.

FC Barcelona legend Ronald Koeman is fourth on the list, with 45. Lubo Penev (Valencia, Atlético Madrid, Compos and Celta) is next with 44. Next come Dani Ruiz (Athletic Bilbao, 34 goals) and Rafa Marañón (Espanyol, 34 goals). In eighth position is a player still active, albeit not in Spain: David Villa (Valencia, Barça and Atlético, 32 goals). Ander Garitano (Athletic and Real Zaragoza, 31 goals) and Raúl Tamudo (Espanyol, 30 goals) round out the top 10.