The numbers that defy talk of a Messi decline

Lionel Messi has been the brunt of a lot of criticism this season, whether it’s down to his desire to leave Barcelona or slow start to the season.

Such was the dip in his form at the start of the campaign, many were starting to question whether the Argentine was fading away at the top level.

However, his numbers since the turn of the year have gone against those assumptions. On Saturday, he scored for the seventh game in a row in all competitions – with nine goals coming in that run.

That late strike against Sevilla was his 24th goal of the season in all competitions. In LaLiga Santander, he leads the scoring charts by three with a total of 19.

Since the start of 2021, the 33-year-old has netted 14 goals and provided four assists in all competitions – no one in Europe’s top five leagues can match that.

Maybe, then, talk of Messi’s career being on the decline is perhaps premature. In the summer, he could embark on a new challenge, yet his ability will remain the same.

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