Messi's Goalscoring Stats Without Xavi, Neymar And Iniesta Silences His Fiercest Critics

Lionel Messi has become Barcelona's talisman for more than a decade now.

Ever since the 31-year-old Argentine ace broke into the Spanish club's first team, he has played with many legends of the sport and an abundance of world-class players.

While many players have left the club in that time, of course, there have been questions about whether the Barcelona captain could do it without those players around him.

Well, Barça Universal has compiled statistics of Messi's performances without Xavi, Neymar and Andrés Iniesta to highlight how many times that he has proven his fiercest critics wrong.

Following the departure of Xavi in 2015, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored 181 times in 193 matches.

When Paris Saint-Germain signed Neymar for a world-record transfer fee in 2017, Messi scored on 82 occasions in 92 matches.

It's a similar pattern emerging here, right?

Well, let's take a look at Iniesta.

After the Barcelona legend made the switch to Vissel Kobe last year, the Argentina captain has put on a strong showing in the current season by playing 38 matches and scoring 41 times.

Messi, who has now scored more than 40 times for ten consecutive seasons, was in action on Saturday against Espanyol and bagged himself a brace, which included the Barça talisman scoring a 'Panenka free-kick.'

Will anyone catch up to Messi in the race for the European Golden Shoe this season?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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