Football

The incredible stat that suggests Lionel Messi & Barcelona are better off without Neymar

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Have we run out of superlatives for Lionel Messi yet? Probably not, and we never will.

The Argentinian maestro has had a magnificent start to the season even by his supremely high standards and despite some preseason concerns after Neymar left the club, Barca sits atop of the La Liga.

Messi has been running the show with eleven goals in seven La Liga outings and 14 in 11 overall.

Messi's career has seen him score a grand total of 532 goals in 626 games and he has scored over 40 goals in each of the last eight seasons, firing over 50 in five of those.

Considering Barca are five points clear of second-placed Sevilla already, it would seem as if they're not missing Neymar all that much since the Brazilian's €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Their form is even more remarkable when you consider the fact that Neymar's replacement, Ousmane Dembele, has already suffered a serious injury.

But, according to Marca, it just goes to show how incredible Messi has been thus far and they have the stats to prove it.

Messi has now scored 47.83 percent of all Barcelona's goals this season and when you take away the two own-goals they have benefitted from, his percentage rises to 52.4 percent.

Messi's previous best was back in 2011/12, when he scored 43.86 percent of the Catalan's goals.

Despite his incredible record, Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris believes Harry Kane is right there with him.

The England forward has 11 goals in 9 games this season and Lloris believes he is beginning to breathe that same superstar air as Messi.

"In every big team, you have a big goalscorer. In Tottenham, it is Harry Kane," Lloris said.

"I think for him he has got a lot of things to prove in the Champions League. He shows his quality and skills at the moment.

"Five goals in two games is fantastic and hopefully he will carry on in the same way for him and the team. We are not surprised about Harry, we know his talent, his skills, his aptitude to score goals and important goals.

"He is our main player, like in top teams, in Real Madrid you have Ronaldo, in Barca you have Messi.

On Kane becoming the absolute best, Lloris said: "Give him time. The most important thing is he is exigent towards himself. Then, for sure, he will lead the national team, he will lead Tottenham."

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