Lionel Messi Hits Incredible Record With Latest Assist

Lionel Messi and Arturo Vidal

Getty Lionel Messi and Arturo Vidal celebrate

Lionel Messi made more La Liga history on Saturday night by teeing up Arturo Vidal to open the scoring for Barcelona against Real Valladolid at the José Zorrilla Stadium.

The assist was Messi’s 20th of the season, to go with his 22 goals in Spain’s top flight, making him the first player ever to record such numbers.

Messi also becomes the first player to reach 20 assists in a La Liga season since Xavi achieved the same feat for Barcelona in 2008-09.

Meanwhile, Vidal’s goal was his eighth of the season and continues his lethal form in front of goal for Barcelona this season.

The Chilean’s first-half strike was the only goal of the game and was enough for all three points for Barcelona. The win sees the Catalan giants cut the gap to leaders Real Madrid to just one point.

Must-Win For Barcelona

Barcelona headed into the game needing a win to keep their faint title hopes alive after Los Blancos moved four points clear on Friday night with a win over Alaves.

Manager Quique Setien made changes to his team for Saturday’s match. He tweaked his formation again, moving to three at the back, and brought in youngster Riqui Puig for Luis Suarez.

Messi started in attack alongside Antoine Griezmann, maintaining his record of starting in every Barcelona game since La Liga resumed after a three-month break due to Covid-19 in June.

Meanwhile, Real Valladolid headed into the match still in need of points to confirm their place in La Liga for next season. The hosts started the game seven points clear of the relegation zone with three games left to play.

Messi Joins Henry’s 20/20 Club

While Messi is the first player to reach 20 goals and assists in La Liga, the landmark has been hit before in the Premier League by striker Thierry Henry during his time at Arsenal.

Henry, who went on to play with Messi at Barcelona, achieved the feat in 2002-03 and is the only other player in Europe’s top five leagues ever to reach such numbers.

Of course, Messi still has time to add even more goals and assists before the season ends. Barca still have two games to play and wrap up their 2019-20 La Liga campaign with matches against Osasuna and Alaves.

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