Lionel Messi of PSG Sets To Extend Champions League Record Against Juventus

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi will be out to extend a stunning Champions League record when the Ligue 1 champions open their new European season at home to Juventus on Tuesday night in Group H.

In his first season in Paris, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner struggled to find his previous scoring touch, but still scored 11 goals and provided 15 assists from 34 games across all competitions.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Messi scored five goals in the Champions League last year, where Mauricio Pochettino’s team surrendered to eventual champions Real Madrid in the last-16, losing 3-2 on aggregate.

Messi has had a strong start to life under Christophe Galtier this season, scoring three goals and assisting six times in six Ligue 1 games in addition to scoring in the Trophee des Champions victory over Nantes.

Last season, Messi added goals against Manchester City, Club Brugge, and RB Leipzig to bring his total of Champions League group-stage goals to 76. This week, he will look to put himself further ahead of the pack in that category.

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Naturally, Cristiano Ronaldo is behind his longtime adversary by the fewest goals (73 in the group stage), but the Manchester United player will compete in the Europa League this year after failing to secure a summer transfer. This means that Ronaldo would not have the opportunity to overtake Messi in terms of total goals scored in the Champions League group stage.

Karim Benzema of Real Madrid and Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona are tied for third place on the list with 56 goals each and will be fighting to catch up with Ronaldo (73 goals) in the coming months.

If he plays in midweek, Messi will play his 82nd Champions League group-stage match.

Messi has already made 41 appearances for PSG since joining from Barcelona last year, amassing a total of 15 goals and 21 assists.

In the 2022–23 Ligue 1 season, Galtier took over from Pochettino and has guided PSG to 16 points out of a possible 18 points. The French champions are ahead of second-placed Marseille on goal differential.

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Kylian Mbappe received two assists from Messi as Les Parisiens continued their winning streak against Nantes on Saturday, winning 3-0. Nuno Mendes also scored for the French giants.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

For PSG, though, winning against Juventus has been difficult since they have lost all eight of their prior competitive meetings with the Old Lady.

PSG has lost six straight games to Juve after sharing a pair of draws with them in the 1983–84 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, but they are yet to meet in the Champions League.

The most recent encounter between PSG and Juventus took place in the 1996–1997 UEFA Super Cup two-legged final, where the Bianconeri won on aggregate 9–2 to win the title.

In Group H of the Champions League, Les Parisiens will also face Benfica and Maccabi Haifa. They will travel to face the Israeli team on September 14 before facing Benfica at the Estadio do Luz on October 5.

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