Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest player to ever grace the game of football. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is unstoppable on his day and can break the ankles of opposing defences as he has on numerous occasions during his storied career. The Blaugrana captain has an unparalleled skillset and one of them is his pinpoint accuracy from dead-ball situations.
Lionel Messi's threat from free-kicks is unmatched and a recent stat has underlined the Barcelona captain's unerring skill. According to ESPN, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored an outrageous 33 free-kicks in the last 10 years, which is two more than Juventus as a team. Barcelona had engaged in a Twitter battle with the Italian champions during their group stage clash in the Champions League. The two clubs had their say in the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi GOAT debate, despite the former missing the game due to coronavirus.
📊Most Free kick Goals in last 10 season in Europe's top 5 leagues:— 🥶 (@elitemessi_) November 11, 2020
Real Madrid: 26
Barcelona won 2-0, with their captain assisting Ousmane Dembele's opener before adding to the tally from the spot. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has managed just a solitary free-kick since moving to Turin in 2018 from Real Madrid. Incidentally, Los Blancos themselves trail Lionel Messi's free-kick tally, with the Spanish champions having scored from 26 free-kicks in the last 10 years. Ronaldo is likely to return for the return game against Barcelona on December 8, and a freekick goal would be termed as a perfect response.
Despite his free-kick blushes in recent seasons, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 46 at club level throughout his career, just one short of Lionel Messi's record. When counting international statistics, the former Manchester United star is ahead of his eternal rival in the free-kick department with 56 goals in total compared to Messi's 53.
The Barcelona captain averages a free-kick goal every 16.6 games, while Cristiano Ronaldo averages slightly more, taking 18.3 games to score a free-kick.
The Portuguese legend was prodigious free-kick taker at Manchester United and during his early Real Madrid career but experienced a sharp decline as time went by. The report suggests that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored 23 free-kicks in his first five seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, but has only managed 10 in the subsequent six seasons.
Messi's numbers tell a different story, with the Barcelona legend having scored only five free-kicks until March 2012. The 33-year-old, however, stepped up his game to average more than six free-kick goals every year, with the tally rising to 10 in 2018 and another 8 in 2019.