KEY POINTS

  • Messi becomes 2nd player after Thierry Henry to score 20 goals, 20 assists in a season
  • Messi achieved the feat in recent 1-0 win over Valladolid
  • Barca are currently placed second in the La Liga table

Lionel Messi has not scored in three consecutive matches but in Barcelona’s recent La Loga outing, he clinched a special record that has put him on par with Arsenal’s all-time top-scorer Thierry Henry.

Barcelona defeated Valladolid 1-0, courtesy of Arturo Vidal’s goal. It was Messi, who set up the goal for Vidal and by doing so, the Barcelona captain now has registered 20 assists along with 22 goals in La Liga in the 2019-20 season. He has become the very first player in the Spanish league to score 20 goals and 20 assists in a single La Liga season.

Overall, he is the second player to achieve the feat after Henry, who had scored 24 times and provided 20 assists during the 2002-03 Premier League season.

By setting up 20 goals for Barcelona this season, Messi is also the first player to provide 20 assists in a single La Liga season since his former teammate Xavi Hernandez had done so for the Catalans during the 2008-09 campaign.

Despite scoring 22 goals and setting up 20 in the 2019-20 La Liga season, Messi winning the title for Barcelona looks difficult. Having played an extra game, Barcelona are a point behind leaders Real Madrid, who have not won the La Liga trophy since 2017.

However, Los Blancos look favorites to clinch the Spanish top-flight title this campaign as they require only two wins from their remaining fixtures against Granada, Villarreal, and Leganes to seal the title race.

Messi’s current contract is due to expire June 2021 and since he has not signed a new deal yet, there have been rumors about his possible departure from the Nou Camp side.

Lionel Messi notched his 20th assist of the season in Barcelona's 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday. Lionel Messi notched his 20th assist of the season in Barcelona's 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday. Photo: AFP / CESAR MANSO

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu, who is arguably the biggest reason behind the chaos in the club right now, during his interviews, has told media several times now that he is confident of Messi ending his career at Barcelona.

"We've spoken, we are speaking and we will continue to speak with Messi. He wants to finish his career here, we will definitely renew with him, I am in no doubt that he will stay here," the Barca chief told Catalonia publication TV3.