Barcelona captain Lionel Messi achieved the massive feat in the game against Real Valladolid on Saturday. In the 1-0 win, Messi provided an assist to midfielder Arturo Vidal to break the Valladolid's defence. With the assist, Messi became the first player in La Liga history to score 20 goals and provide 20 assists in a single season.
It was an ideal Barcelona move, which led to the sole goal of the match. Nelson Semedo, Riqui Puig, and Messi all exchanged quick passes in a tight area before the Argentine slipped the ball to Vidal inside the box. The Chile midfielder used one touch to line up a powerful shot that he blasted from a tight angle in off the far post.
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Meanwhile, Messi has scored 22 goals in 31 appearances in La Liga this season.
Messi also became the first La Liga player after his former teammate Xavi to record 20 assists in a season. The Spaniard did it 2008/09 season for the Catalan giants.
The list of achievements didn't stop there as he also became the second player in this century to score 20 goals and provide 20 assists in a single season after Thierry Henry. The French striker achieved the massive feat in 2002/03 while playing for Arsenal.
Meanwhile, after the hard-fought win, Barcelona manager Quique Setien acknowledged his team is reaching the end of this sprint-finish to La Liga, with matches every three days, on fumes.
“It was very hot and the pitch was very dry and several players didn’t have the energy to do much more than run enough to keep up with the play,” Setién said.
“The jitters we have at the end comes from the fact that we could have put the win away in the first half and knew we could have trouble with our fitness in the second half.”