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

Analysis shows that the Argentinian scores more goals late in the game than at any other time

Simon Rice
Monday 18 April 2016 15:42 BST
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 500th career goal
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 500th career goal

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.


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.

Luis Suarez during Barcelona's defeat to Valencia

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.

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