Paris Saint-Germain attacker Lionel Messi has broken a Champions League goalscoring record he previously shared with Cristiano Ronaldo in his side’s 3-1 success over Maccabi Haifa in Group H.
Seeking to build on their opening 2-1 success over Juventus, Christophe Galtier’s side were greeted by a hostile atmosphere in Israel and were nearly on the receiving end of a shock result.
Tjaronn Chery stuck a boot out to open the scoring for the hosts on the 24-minute mark, but PSG would restore parity from half time as Messi pounced on a loose ball to slot home inside the area.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner would then turn provider for Kylian Mbappe to put PSG ahead before the final member of the famed attacking triumvirate Neymar wrapped up a 3-1 success in the 88th minute.
Prior to making the net ripple against Maccabi Haifa, Messi had netted against a joint-record 38 teams in the Champions League, sharing the record with long-time rival Ronaldo.
Now, the 35-year-old is the outright record holder in the category after scoring against his 39th team in European competition, and that was not the only record he set at the Sammy Ofer Stadium.
Messi’s 37th-minute goal also saw him become the first-ever player to score in 18 consecutive Champions League seasons, and he now boasts 126 goals in the competition in total.
Ronaldo still leads the way at the top of the charts with 140 strikes in Europe’s top tournament, but Messi will seek to close the gap while the Portuguese plies his trade in the Europa League, this term.
Ronaldo allegedly informed Manchester United of his desire to leave in the summer to join a club competing for Champions League glory, but a concrete offer from such a club did not arrive.
Meanwhile, a stellar start to the 2022-23 campaign for Messi has seen him rack up five goals and eight assists in his opening 10 games for PSG in Ligue 1, the Champions League and the Trophee des Champions.
The ex-Barcelona man now has 16 goals and 23 assists to boast from 44 appearances for the French champions, who are level with Benfica at the top of Champions League Group H on six points. – SportsMole