This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Lionel Messi is pretty good, isn’t he?
“Pretty good” would be a huge understatement and this is especially true for the little magician’s performance against Inter Milan at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Barcelona welcomed the Nerazzurri to Catalonia in the second fixture of the Champions League group stage and after a really tough 90 minutes in front of their own fans, Ernesto Valverde’s men took all three points.
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But it was anything but straightforward.
Their Italian guests even took an early lead as Lautaro Martinez slotted home in the first couple of minutes and Inter looked dangerous on numerous occasions, even tallying 11 shots on the night. By all accounts, Valverde’s back was against the wall.
But then Messi arrived.
The now 32-year-old Argentine recorded one assist but that doesn’t really do him justice at all. He also registered six key passes with an overall 85% passing accuracy and had three shots on target and ten successful dribbles. Not to mention that he created two big chances on the night as well.
Messi was magical once again but that’s what the world is expecting from him.
Still, it has to be said that he has only just returned from an injury, receiving the medical green light the night before the clash and participating in his first full training session before stepping out onto the pitches of Camp Nou to tear Inter apart.
Watch Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale answer the internet’s weirdest questions in the video below…
Not many are actually able to do what he does, especially with no match sharpness and almost no game time.
This was, in fact, Messi’s first full game of the ongoing 2019/20 campaign and now he has a total of just 210 minutes to his name.
By all accounts, not really as much as Barcelona would probably like.
But now that he’s back, the Catalans will be looking to pick up their form and start chaining together victories.
And with Messi in their side once again, few would bet against them.