Lionel Messi equals Raul's Champions League scoring record with brace against Ajax

Lionel Messi scored 71st goal in the competition

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi equalled the Champions League goalscoring record when he struck for the second time in the 76th minute of Wednesday's Group F match at Ajax.

The for-time world player of the year matched the record set by former Real Madrid and Schalke 04 striker Raul, when he struck his 71st goal in the competition

Messi moved within one goal of the record when he headed home Marc Bartra's hooked cross after 36 minutes in the Amsterdam Arena to draw level on 70 goals with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

He matched Raul with 14 minutes remaining, tapping home after exchanging a neat one-two with Pedro.

"I'm happy for Leo because of the work he does for the team and because he is number one, the best," Messi's team mate Xavi told reporters.

"Leo has a free role along with the others up front, but they also have some important defensive work to do. At this club we all work and when we all work the team functions."