Since being flanked by Neymar and latterly Luis Suarez in Barcelona’s attack, rather than shrink into the shadows of two other celebrated superstars, Lionel Messi has led the world’s most feared strikeforce by example.
When you’re talking about goal tallies, it’s easy to forget that Messi is playing exactly the same game as other mortals.
During a season aggravated by injury prior to this, the Argentine whizz still blasted 41 goals for his club, which was considered a near crisis.
This season things are back on track and the Catalans chase European glory, where Bayern Munich stand in the way of safe passage to the Champions League final.
Thanks to an eighth brace of the campaign (to go with six separate hat-tricks) as Cordoba were carved up 8-0 in La Liga, the Barca maestro passed the 50-goals mark for the third time in four seasons.
As you’d imagine, though, Messi doesn’t just save it for struggling La Liga sides.
His eight Champions League goals this season is only one less than the competition’s leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.
All the more bonkers then, that Ladbrokes have decided to enhance the wee magician to grab the game’s first goal, from a price of 10/3 out to a sizzling 4/1.
Although the Camp Nou’s messiah has racked up five in his last three and eight in eight, he will be looking to make a telling contribution against former manager Pep Guardiola’s visitors after a lean spell in Europe.
Messi’s missed penalty at Manchester City set the tone for the knockout stages on a personal level, as the Argentine is yet to find a goal since the groups.
However, having plundered 14 deadlock-breaking strikes in total this season, it would be foolish to look this particular gift-horse in the mouth.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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