Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) became the first player in Europe’s top five divisions this season to score double-digit goals and provide double-digit assists for his team.
Messi put on a clinic against Maccabi Haifa, scoring two goals and providing two assists in his team’s 7-2 triumph in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday (25 October).
He has now scored 11 goals and contributed 12 assists in 16 appearances this season across all competitions.
Cody Gakpo is the second player in Europe’s top seven leagues to reach the milestone. So far this season, the PSV Eindhoven winger has 12 goals and 10 assists.
During the game, Lionel Messi helped Neymar, who scored a wonderful chip in the first half. Messi’s 11th combination with the Brazilian resulted in a goal in the UEFA Champions League.
The Argentine’s display against Maccabi Haifa was nothing short of spectacular. He had eight final-third entries, five attempts on goal, and four chances created for his teammates.
During the game, Messi accomplished another great feat. The 35-year-old became the competition’s oldest player to score twice and assist once.
Lionel Messi has also surpassed longstanding rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the most goals scored from outside the box in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo was equal with the Argentine heading into Paris’ match against Haifa on 22.
Messi’s second goal of the night brings his career total to a record-breaking 23.
It’s been a remarkable night for the veteran forward, who has been a nightmare for the Israeli defence.
However, they were not the only achievements he made that night. In fact, Messi has broken Pele’s record for most goals and assists combined.
During his dazzling career, the Brazilian icon was involved in 1,126 goals. Messi, on the other hand, has now exceeded that record, with four goals against Shakhtar Donetsk bringing his total to 1,127.
The new marks are just a reflection of Messi’s strong start to the season, in which he has 11 goals and 12 assists in 16 competitive matches.
PSG are heading into the knockout stages of the Champions League as they sit top of Group H on 11 points alongside Benfica with the same goal difference (6).
Juve are third on three points, as are Haifa who sit fourth meaning that the two will be bowing out at the group stages.