Lionel Messi leads Barcelona to the next round of Champions League with a win against Napoli

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World footballer of the year, Lionel Messi has inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win over Napoli in the second leg of the Champions League last 16.

Barca progressed to the quarter finals on 4-2 aggregate.

In a match that Napoli made a good start and almost ended scoring first, Barcelona got into the lead in the 10th minute after Ivan Rakitic’s corner found Clement Lenglet, who rose higher than the Napoli defenders to head in the opener.

  • Lionel Messi has scored against 35 teams in the Champions League.

It became Messi’s turn to score against Napoli that Barca was playing against at home for the first time in a competitive game. The Argentine talisman gathered outside the box, cut between two defenders, get a return ball, and then steered it perfectly into the far bottom corner while keeling over.

Barca celebrates goal

Luis Suarez then extended Barca’s lead in additional time of the first interval from the penalty spot. Messi was mistakenly fouled by Koulibally who was aiming to kick the ball, not knowing that the Barca’s captain was behind him. The tackle left Messi in deep pain as he couldn’t take the spot-kick.

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Messi could have scored another classic goal that would have competed for the goal of the year during the FIFA award but he was ruled to have handled the ball while chesting it. Ospina parried Suarez’s shot and the ball was floated to the back post for Messi, who chested down and dinked it over the goalkeeper.

As all were thinking that will be all before the end of the first half, Lorenzo Insigne reduced the deficit for the visitors from the penalty spot as well after Rakitic committed similar mistakes made by Koulibally by falling Dries Mertens in the box.

The second half saw end to end attacking football but there was no more goal to record.

Lionel Messi sets new record against Napoli

Meanwhile, Messi’s goal against Napoli means he has now scored against a quite remarkable 35 different teams in the competition. This is now a tournament record.

Messi has scored against teams from Germany, Spain, France, England, Italy, Portugal, Belarus, Cyprus, Denmark and Ukraine.

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However, he has not been able to record a goal against five out of the forty teams he has met over the years. The ones that have escaped Messi’s goal are Rubin Kazan, Atlético Madrid, Benfica, Udinese, and Inter Milan.

Messi celebrates against Napoli

In the record book, five times world footballer of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid legend Raul González are next with 33 ‘victims’ each. Karim Benzema and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are also close with 29 each.

His number one target over the years has been Arsenal, with nine goals in six games, followed by AC Milan and Celtic (8 each).

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