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Lionel Messi news: Barcelona captain has scored more La Liga goals as a sub than anyone in the 21st century

ANALYST
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2.15K   //    Timeless

Messi has scored more goals as a substitute than any other player in La Liga in the 21st century.
Messi has scored more goals as a substitute than any other player in La Liga in the 21st century.

What's the story?

It appears not starting games does not stop Lionel Messi from breaking records as the Barcelona captain has now scored more goals as a substitute than any other player in La Liga in the 21st century.

In case you didn't know...

Barcelona played host to Leganes on Sunday in a game that saw team captain Messi start at the bench. Manager Ernesto Valverde's decision to rest the Argentine did not last long as he was introduced into the game soon after Martin Braithwaite's equaliser for Leganes.

The Catalan giants registered a thumping 3-1 win courtesy of goals from Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Messi himself.

The Argentine ace came off the bench to secure the win for Barca with a superb stoppage-time goal. This means the 31-year-old has scored 25 goals for the side so far this season and took up his all-time La Liga goal tally to 401.

The heart of the matter

Despite having been on the first team sheet for years, Messi's goal off the bench has made him the player with the most La Liga goals as a sub in the 21st century. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner boasts of 22 league goals as a substitute for Barcelona, and a total of 34 goals and five assists in his 76 appearances as a sub for the club.

The 31-year-old is also close to breaking a goal-scoring record held by Brazilian legend Pele since 1974. While the Brazilian has 619 goals to his name, Messi has 576 goals in 660 appearances so far.

What's next?

The victory against Leganes gives the Liga table-toppers 46 points from 20 games. Their closest competition Atletico Madrid sit five points behind at second place, followed by longstanding rivals Real Madrid who climbed up to third place with 36 points.

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