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Sunday 4 December 2016

Lionel Messi scores 500th goal: Barcelona star has spent career punishing tired teams

Simon Rice

Published 18/04/2016 | 11:57

Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts during the defeat to Valencia. REUTERS/Albert Gea
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts during the defeat to Valencia. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Lionel Messi finally scored his 500th career goal last night, but his 63rd minute strike against Valencia did not come at his favoured time.

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Analysis shows the the Barcelona player has a tendency to score late in games, taking advantage of tired teams and scoring when matches have already been decided.

Lionel Messi finally scored his 500th career goal last night, but his 63rd minute strike against Valencia did not come at his favoured time.

Analysis shows the the Barcelona player has a tendency to score late in games, taking advantage of tired teams and scoring when matches have already been decided.

Of his 500 goals for club and country, 130 were scored after the 76th minute, a huge 26 per cent of his goals. In comparison, 50 were scored inside the first 15 minutes.

WHEN DOES MESSI SCORE?

0-15 min: 50

16-30 min: 79

31-45 min: 92

46-60 min: 70

61-75 min: 79

76-90+ min: 130

For a player who scores in matches more often than not (it took him 632 games to reach 500), his wait of five games to hit 500 seemed like forever.

When it finally came it was somewhat tarnished, turning out to be nothing but a consolation in a 2-1 defeat to Valencia that has blown the La Liga title race wide open.

Despite Barcelona's problems, reaching 500 career goals is a remarkable feat for any player. "The figure is from another galaxy," said Barca boss Luis Enrique.

Independent News Service

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