5 landmarks awaiting Lionel Messi in 2020
Lionel Messi loves to score goals and break records. Seven years after his stunning 91-goal haul in 2012, Messi's 50 goals in 2019 marked the 9th time in 10 years the Argentinian maestro racked up a half century of goals for club and country during a calendar year.
Messi won a record-tying 6th Pichichi award (most goals in a LaLiga season) as Barcelona won their 4th Spanish top-flight title in 5 seasons. 6 goals in as many Champions League games almost carried Barcelona to their first final in the competition in 4 years, before a stunning Liverpool fightback upended the Catalan club's European ambitions for the season.
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An indifferent outing at the Copa America in Brazil followed, where Messi's 1 goal in 6 games represented a rare poor patch in another outstanding year. Argentina lost to eventual winners Brazil in the semifinal, before Messi broke new ground in the Liga and the Champions League this season.
Despite a belated start to the new season, Messi overtook Karim Benzema to take the mid-season lead in the Liga scoring charts. On that note, let us have a look at 5 milestones awaiting the Argentine magician in 2020.
#1 Take the outright lead in most Champions League hat-tricks
Messi, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, share the record for most hat-tricks by a player in the UEFA Champions League. The duo's tally of 8 hat-tricks apiece in the competition is almost triple the next best tally of hat-tricks (3) achieved by the quartet of Filippo Inzaghi, Mario Gomez, Luis Adriano and Robert Lewandowski.
With Barcelona reaching the knockout round of the 2019-20 Champions League as one of 6 unbeaten teams, Messi would look to usurp Ronaldo and claim the outright record for most hat-tricks in the competition.