Barca's Second Top Scorer In Last Two Champions League Campaigns Is 'Own Goal'

If ever a stat summed up how reliant Barcelona are on Lionel Messi, it's that for the last two Champions League campaigns the club's second highest scorer is 'Own goal'.

Messi scored six in 10 games last season before notching 12 in the same amount amount of appearances this term, as well as supplying three assists for his teammates.

But while his numbers in the competition are impressive, no-one else has chipped in with the goals.

The next biggest direct contributor for Barca's Champions League goals is opposition players putting through their next, which has happened on six occasions in the past two seasons.

After that, Ousmane Dembele is in third place on four, with Gerard Pique and Philippe Coutinho both on three. Luis Suarez, who has been weirdly out of form in the Champions League in recent times, has only managed two - the same as midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

At the start of the season, Messi stated his desire to mark his first season as captain by lifting the Champions League after four years of disappointment.

Things were going pretty well until Barca fell apart and lost 4-0 at Anfield against Liverpool, bottling a Champions League second leg for the second season in a row after being knocked out by Roma last term.

According to The Guardian, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was so hurt by the humbling defeat that he broke down in tears and was "inconsolable" in the dressing room.

To make matters worse, the 31-year old was forced to have a doping test straight after the game and the length of the process took so long that the Barcelona bus went to John Lennon Airport without him.

Messi then made alternative travel arrangements to reunite with the rest of the squad but was involved in an altercation with some Barca fans who insulted him at the airport.

As per Mundo Deportivo, Messi felt the need to respond to the small section of supporters who insulted him - asking them "What's your problem? What did I do wrong?".

While we've seen that he can undoubtedly do it all on his own as he has time and time again, there is a feeling that Messi has been let down by his teammates in his quest for the fifth Champions League title of his career.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp ODDSbible