The reason why Lionel Messi's penalty record for Barcelona is so inconsistent

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Football News

It's hard to go against the theory that Lionel Messi is the perfect footballer.

The Barcelona superstar really is the complete package, a serial goal scorer, arguably the world's finest playmaker and the best in the business with the ball at his feet when dribbling.

He even contributes to the defensive side of the game when necessary and his haul of five Ballon d'Or awards is probably not enough given his dominance over the game.

However, if there was one criticism you could aim his way, it would be his inability to be a consistent threat from the penalty spot.

He's scored some big spot kicks in the past, including quite a few against Real Madrid in a number of El Clasico's, but his overall record leaves a lot to be desired.

In fact, of the 99 penalties he has taken throughout his illustrious career, Messi has only converted 77, giving him a conversion rate of 77.78%.

His bitter rival Cristiano Ronaldo is significantly better, scoring 99 of 120 penalties, giving him a much better percentage of 82.5%.

So why is Leo less dependable? Well, someone on Twitter has provided a very interesting stat, one which certainly explains it all.

Turns out, Messi completely alters his penalty style when Barcelona are winning and he seemingly puts more effort in when the Blaugrana need him most.


It makes for some very interesting reading.

Leo himself has said that it is the one area of his game that he is desperate to improve on, particularly as he will be Argentina's designated taker going into the summer World Cup.

"I want to be perfect and yet there are some parts of my game I have to improve to reach the maximum level," Messi said.

"Which part? Penalties, I have to practice them more."


Well, the best way to do that is not to lose focus when Barca are winning, Leo.

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Lionel Messi
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
La Liga

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