Lionel Messi’s injury-interrupted start to the season means the Barcelona captain is yet to find the back of the net in the 2019-20.
It means that he will take to the pitch on Sunday against Sevilla without a club goal for 134 days, his longest dry streak since 2006-07.
But that’s a misleading stat because obviously the summer break accounts for a fair bit of that time, while Messi has also been sidelined with injury picked up in pre-season.
He has only managed four appearances this season, playing a total of 212 minutes. Messi may not have scored in that time but he’s still produced two assists.
However, he is expected to start against Sevilla at the Camp Nou on Sunday and will fancy his chances of netting, as the Andalusians are one of his favourite opponents.
Messi has played a total of 37 games against Sevilla in his career and has scored 36 goals, that’s a goal every 61 minutes.
In 25 La Liga appearances he has a ridiculous 28 goals, he’s scored two in five Copa del Rey matches, four in the Spanish Super Cup and two in the European Super Cup.
- Lionel Messi scored 36 goals in 37 appearances against Sevilla, at least 7 more than versus any other opponents.— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) October 4, 2019
His last 5 matches against Sevilla:
2019 - ⚽⚽⚽
2019 - ⚽
2018 - ⚽
2018 - ⚽ #BarçaSevilla #Messi
Of those goals he’s bagged three hat-tricks and seven braces. Simply put, Messi just loves taking on Sevilla and very rarely fails to beat them. In those 37 matches he has came out on the winning side 28 times.
He also loves a free-kick against Sevilla:
And Sevilla have already felt the force of Messi in 2019. He bagged a hat-trick at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan in February in a 4-2 win. Last season he was on target in a 6-1 mauling in the Copa del Rey quarter-final at the Camp Nou in December and also scored in the 4-2 league victory before going off with a fractured arm.
Julen Lopetegui’s side will know exactly what to expect if Messi does, as expected, lead the team out on Sunday but stopping him is another matter entirely.