Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi tops La Liga Assist record

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The skills of Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi, seem not to be waning after another prolific showing for the Blaugrana in their last outing in the Spanish La Liga against Villareal.

The six-times world footballer of the year created another history when he recorded his 19th assist of the season with a pass for Antoine Griezmann for Barcelona’s third, meet his best-ever tally in the Spanish top-flight.  Messi already had set up Luis Suarez midway through the first half at El Madrigal.

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Messi assists Griezmann’s goal against Villareal.

Griezmann, who stroked home Messi’s backheel, scored his ninth La Liga goal of the campaign, with Messi setting up set up three of those nine, more than any other team-mate.

Lionel Messi is also La Liga top scorer

Apart from topping the assist chart, Messi is also the top scorer in La Liga with 22 goals, five more than his nearest challenger, Karim Benzema. He would have scored his 23rd of the season, but it was ruled by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Suarez was also in the record with his 194th goal for Barca, which now leveled him with  Laszlo Kubala on the club’s all-time scoring charts. He will be looking forward to beating Cesar Rodríguez’s record, but beating Messi to the record will be hard. He had beaten Josep Samitier’s 184 goals earlier this season, on October 29 against Valladolid, but now on the podium alongside the Hungarian.

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The Uruguayan needs 38 goals to beat  Rodríguez’s record.

Ansu Fati took the result beyond a reasonable doubt with goal number four late on to reduce Real Madrid’s lead at the top of the table back to four points. The Los Blancos had defeated Athletico Bilbao 1-0 courtesy Sergio Ramos’ penalty to remain in the driving seat for the title with four games remaining.

Barcelona is now on 74 points while three points adrift of Madrid. Athletico Madrid and Sevilla complete the top four.