Barcelona and Lionel Messi are facing a challenging season together, in what may be the Pulga's last dance with the Blaugranas. The Argentine superstar is carrying the team in a tough fight for the championship, as La Liga remains their only trophy at stake in this campaign.
The Cules managed to string together 19 games unbeaten in the Spanish league, and they head to a crucial derby against archrivals Real Madrid to keep on chasing the first spot, which is currently held by Atlético de Madrid. The Clasico is always arguably the most exciting game in the world of soccer, but this one is even more special as both lifelong rivals are battling for the league title.
As Messi's future is uncertain right now, the Catalans' result in the current tournament may be determinant for their captain's decision in the summer, when his contract is set to expire. The upcoming derby could give the winner a boost in the title race. Can the six-time Ballon d'Or winner shine again in this potentially season-defining clash? Let's take a look at his record facing the Merengues.
The fantastic stats from Messi in El Clasico
Throughout his outstanding career as arguably the best player in the world, the brilliant Argentine star broke multiple records with Barcelona. His magic also hogged the spotlight in the highly-expected matches against Real Madrid. Lionel Messi is the all-time top scorer in El Clasico with 26 goals.
The first time he was on target against Los Blancos was in 2007, when he was only 19 years old, in a breathtaking performance with a hat-trick. From then on, he continued to be a threat for Madrid as he developed into one of the most dominant players in the world.
In a historic 6-2 win for Barca at the Santiago Bernabéu in 2009, the No. 10 scored twice. Almost two years later, Messi hit the hosts once again in a highly remembered first leg of UEFA Champions League 2011 semi-finals, scoring a brace that enabled the Cules to go on to win the title. And there were more goals from him in the following years as well, although he's carrying a bad streak at the moment.
Messi's goal drought in the latest Clasicos
Even though he tops the list of the leading goalscorers in Barça vs. Real Madrid clashes, the Argentine figure has been struggling to score against the Merengue lately. The last goal from Messi in a Clasico was on May 6, 2018, in a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou in La Liga 2017/18.
He carries four straight games without being on target against Real Madrid. If we take into account another match in which he couldn't take part due to injury, the streak would be of five duels. However, the Pulga amassed 26 goals and 14 assists in 44 games against Los Blancos so far.
As the thrilling Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid is around the corner, in an extremely important match for their title aspirations, there are high expectations not only to know the winner but to see if Messi can score again. Will the world's arguably greatest player put his drought to an end this weekend?