Lionel Messi's different assists this season show he really has an alien eye


Barcelona may not be in Lionel Messi's good books at the moment, but he wasn't about to let them slip up against Real Betis. 

The Argentine set up all three goals as his side twice overturned a deficit to win 3-2 at the Benito Villamarín Stadium.

Frenkie De Jong, Sergio Busquets and Clément Lenglet all benefited from Messi's vision in a much-needed win for Quique Setién against his old club. 

Even when the 32-year-old isn't getting on the scoresheet himself, he still manages to salvage Barcelona from their own chaotic season. 

His latest exploits see him join Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho as only the second player in Europe this season to make it into double figures for both goals and assists. 

It's not even the first time he's created a hat-trick of assists either, having accomplished that feat on three other occasions vs: Levante (Copa del Rey, 2014), Getafe (La Liga, 2016), and Paraguay (Copa America with Argentina, 2015). 

Sevilla's Pablo Sarabia and Luis Suarez are the only other players to have managed it in La Liga. 

But enough stats. 

What's particularly remarkable about Messi's assist record is that he has created so many different types of goals. 

Frenkie de Jong vs Real Betis 

This was like the Barcelona of old, a brilliantly worked team goal starting from the back and working its way to Messi, who chipped the ball over the Betis defence to find De Jong. 


Sergio Busquets vs Real Betis

The simplest of free-kick routines that Barcelona probably practice regularly on the training ground, done to perfection. He makes it look simple, anyway. 


Clement Lénglet vs Real Betis

Dead. Ball. Maestro. We're always waxing lyrical about Messi's free-kicks, but usually the ones he scores. He also possesses a superb eye for a cross. 


Ansu Fati vs Levante

One of his best this season. Spotting the teenager racing down the wing, Messi sliced right through seven Levante players. 


Ansu Fati vs Levante

Within three minutes, Fati and Messi were at it again, the latter picking the goalscorer out from the edge of the box. 

Luis Suarez vs Real Sociedad 

The deftest touch from the outside of Messi's boot and Suarez made no mistake. 


Luis Suarez vs Borussia Dortmund

Suarez and Messi had already combined for one ruled out effort with a similar sneaky through ball before repeating the trick and catching Dortmund out again. 


Antoine Griezmann vs Borussia Dortmund 

Who said he doesn't pass to Griezmann? Messi arguably did most of the work to send the Frenchman on his way. 


Luis Suarez vs Leganes

No other player is able to stop the ball dead and make it come alive again with a lethal cross quite likes Messi. 


Arturo Vidal vs Real Valladolid 

Textbook Messi. Vidal did very well to extend a toe and make the connection. 


Luis Suarez vs Real Valladolid

The Uruguayan's telepathic connection with his attacking partner allowed him to anticipate a looped ball into the box. 


Luis Suarez vs Eibar 

The 'keeper was probably expecting him to dribble around him and send him the wrong way but Messi unselfishly laid off to Suarez. 


Luis Suarez vs Inter Milan

A simple enough pass, but to really appreciate the assist you have to consider that Messi was only just inside his own half when he first received the ball. 


Antoine Griezmann vs Villarreal

Messi was on corner duty and delivered a pinpoint cross onto Griezmann's head. 


And this is a player in crisis?! Whatever happens off the pitch at Camp Nou, Messi will always deliver the goods and when you consider how many different weapons he has in his arsenal, it's easy to see how he's snatched his teammates from the jaws of defeat so many times this season. 

News Now - Sport News