Lionel Messi keeps shattering records in the UEFA Champions League competition despite his advanced age. He has moved above his career rival, Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of the number of opponents scored against in the Champions League.
Before Wednesday’s Champions League match between PSG and Maccabi Haifa, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had the joint record for most teams scored against in the history of the Champions League. Ronaldo may have more goals overall than Messi, but Messi now leads Ronaldo in that category.
In the first half of PSG’s away Champions League group stage matchup against Maccabi Haifa, Messi stood out among the other players. In the first 45 minutes of the game, the Argentine forward scored one goal and produced one goal-scoring opportunity.
Messi’s goal against Maccabi Haifa broke the tie with Cristiano Ronaldo to make the Argentine player the first footballer in the history of the Champions League to score against 39 different opponents.
In total, Messi has now scored 126 goals in the Champions League, placing him second all-time after Ronaldo (140).
Overall, Messi has scored five goals and provided seven assists for a solid 12 total goal contributions in all competitions thus far this season, including two goals in Champions League group stage action.
The Israeli squad, Maccabi Haifa, became the 39th team to suffer a goal from the Argentine superstar, adding them to the list of clubs he has harmed in Europe’s top tournament.
In the build-up to Messi’s record-breaking goal, Kylian Mbappé delivered a cross into the box in the 37th minute of PSG’s second group-stage match of the season, but a defender deflected it.
Messi seized the opportunity when it presented itself, tying the score at 1-1 following Maccabi Haifa’s startling 24th-minute goal.
It was Messi’s 126th goal of the competition, putting him 14 goals behind Ronaldo for the record. Due to Manchester United’s absence from the Champions League this year, the former Barcelona player has a chance to catch up with Ronaldo.
The attacker has now scored against 18 different national teams, with nine of those goals coming against Arsenal.
The 35-year-old Argentine star, who helped FC Barcelona to win the tournament four before he left for PSG in August 2021, is now aiming to give Paris Saint-Germain their first UCL trophy. Due to Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar, the club is one of the favorites, but last year’s team was ousted in the round of 16.
The situation for Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Premier League is different. Maccabi Haifa has only made it out of the Champions League group stage once – in the 2009–10 season.
Lionel Messi becomes the 1st player in history to score for 18 consecutive Champions League seasons.— 🆈🅴🅻🅻🅾🅼🅰🅽𓃵𓀠 (@YellowM23654784) September 14, 2022
This is why Messi is the Greatest of all time 🐐
Messi— scored versus 39 clubs in the UCL
Ronaldo—scored versus 38 clubs in the UCL
Cry #PSG #UCL
While Messi took advantage of the chance to score against yet another club in his remarkable career, the underdogs had the chance to host one of the best teams in the world.
The complete list of teams Messi has ever scored goals against in the Champions League is provided below:
AC Milan, Ajax, APOEL, Arsenal, AS Roma, Basel, BATE Borisov, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic, Chelsea, Club Brugge, Copenhagen, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencváros, Glasgow Rangers, Juventus, Liverpool, Lyon, Maccabi Haifa, Manchester City, Manchester United, Olympiacos, Napoli, Panathinaikos, PSG, PSV Eindhoven, RB Leipzig, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Spartak Moscow, Slavia Prague, Sporting Lisbon, Stuttgart, Tottenham, Viktoria Plzen and Werder Bremen.