Lionel Messi scored his 30th goal of the season in all competitions, during Barcelona’s 1-0 win against Real Valladolid.
In doing so, the attacker has become the first player from the top five European leagues to reach the 30+ goal mark this campaign.
Incredibly, Messi has now scored 30 or more goals in each of his last 11 seasons for Barcelona in all competitions.
Given that it’s only February, it is a safe bet Messi will add to that tally before the end of the season. He could even beat his total of 45 from last year, but might struggle to overhaul his record high of 73 from the 2011/12 campaign.
Barca’s number 10 still continues to amount some truly staggering statistics. This season he has scored 22 goals from 22 games and has netted 30 in 30 in all competitions.
On Saturday he enjoyed another superb evening against Valladolid, despite missing a late penalty. Thankfully for Ernesto Valverde’s men, his earlier-converted penalty proved to be the difference between the sides.
Messi was involved in everything at Camp Nou and attempted 12 shots against Valladolid, the most by a player in a game in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
It is a vital part of the campaign for Barca and the form of their record goalscorer has never been more important. The Catalans return to Champions League football on Tuesday when they travel to Lyon, a side who should not be underestimated after their gallant performances against Manchester City earlier in the year.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 16, 2019
Barcelona also face a daunting Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Real Madrid in 11 days time. Having drawn the first meeting 1-1 at home , Messi and co will need to be on top form at the Bernabeu if they are to qualify for the cup final.
In the league, Barca are seven points clear at the top of the table, after 24 games. However, their lead could be reduced to six on Sunday when Real host Girona.
Barcelona also have to deal with another Clasico in the coming weeks, when they again travel to the Spanish capital for what could be a title-defining clash.