Football

Messi is enjoying one of his most impressive seasons with Barcelona..

Leading sports scientist has analysed Lionel Messi's superb Barcelona statistics

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We're running out of words to describe Lionel Messi this season.

It seems the Argentine is on a fast-track to his latest Ballon d'Or title, dominating the goal-scoring charts in Europe and still in with a chance of winning the treble with Barcelona.

Messi is arguably producing one of the finest campaigns of his career and is head and shoulders above his rivals when we accumulate goals and assists.

Why, it was even revealed that Messi has directly contributed to 20 points for his club this season, a statistic that can only be matched by Eden Hazard and Nicolas Pepe.

Barcelona hold a commanding lead over the La Liga title race, boast a remarkable recent record in the Copa del Rey and are just five games away from Champions League glory.

Messi's brilliance this season

So, it will come as no surprise that so many supporters and pundits have been eulogising about the 31-year-old this season.

However, it might be slightly more unexpected to hear that Simon Brundish - a professional sports scientists - has been analysing the Barcelona superstar.

A video has surfaced on Reddit of Brundish discussing Messi's statistics during an interview in December 2018, before his numbers became even more impressive.

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Brundish: Messi's stats are 'insanity'

And as someone who makes a living out of studying the machinations of top athletes, the praise of Brundish really speaks volumes and he referred to the data as pure 'insanity.'

"There's only one person. While he's alive, there's only Messi, there's no discussion," he explained to CNN Sport.

"Messi has currently a goal or assist every 48 minutes. A game typically lasts 95 minutes so that's almost two every single game. Last season it was 58 minutes.

"Normally you're doing well if you get a goal every two games. It's insanity.

"If you look at the underlying statistics and something called xG-Build, you reverse engineer from the final shot and award a number to everyone involved in the chain of passing.

"So, you would expect that Luka Modric - the 'greatest' of all playmakers - would excel. 

"In xG-Build, they remove the final pass and the shot itself, so you can't be rewarded if you made the assist.

"But Messi still had a better number than Modric and creates a goal or assist every 48 minutes, and played 1,000 more minutes last season."

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Wow, wow, wow.

It makes you wonder how those statistics have changed but given the raw numbers Messi has produced this season, surely they would be even more impressive if anything.

To hear that the Barcelona forward comes out on top in goals, assists and even general creativity is simply remarkable and raises a few questions about Modric's Ballon d'Or win.

It also shows that everyone from fans to pundits and even sports scientists, are justifying the hype around Messi and 2019 could go down as one of his greatest years.

Do you think Messi the greatest player in history? Have your say in the comments section below.

Topics:
Football
UEFA Champions
La Liga
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Luka Modric

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