Football's most prolific goalscoring streaks

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Football News

Lionel Messi's goalscoring records continue to pile up, with the Barcelona superstar's strike in the 1-1 draw with Valencia on Sunday representing the 12 consecutive La Liga game during which he has found the net.

Messi had already passed the previous streak set by Ronaldo, of Brazil fame, and Real Madrid's Mariano Martín, both of whom had registered successes in 10 games on the trot.

The 25-year-old Barcelona forward has scored 21 times over this run of 12 games, including six braces and one memorable quadruple, but it still does not rank as Messi's most potent spell of goalscoring form.

Last season, during which time Messi scored 73 times in all competitions to set a new benchmark in European football, the Argentina international enjoyed a remarkable period between February 14 and March 24.

In the eight games Messi featured in over that time he scored 18 times, which included a flurry of 10 strikes in three outings as he plundered four past Valencia and five past Bayer Leverkusen, with a solitary goal against Atletico Madrid sandwiched between.

Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, perennially hangs onto the coattails of his illustrious Barcelona rival, and the Real Madrid player's impressive tally of 29 goals this term still falls well short of the 50 scored by the latter.

The Portugal captain hit 10 goals in half as many games earlier this season but, inevitably, Ronaldo's most prolific period in front of goal is also shy of Messi's finest individual feat.

In 2010/11, Ronaldo's second season as a Real Madrid player, he hit 11 goals in four matches on his way to a then record tally of 40 La Liga conversions, which trumped his previous best of nine goals in five outings for Manchester United.

Manchester United's current goalscoring hero, meanwhile, Robin van Persie has appeared even more deadly in front of goal since his summer transfer from Arsenal, although his best streak came as a Gunner.

Van Persie very nearly singly handedly dragged Arsenal from mid-table mediocrity into the top four during his last campaign with the club, and hit a purple patch towards the end of 2011 when he scored 10 in five.

The Dutchman has 22 in all competitions for Manchester United in 2012/13, with his most plentiful phase producing eight goals in six games between Boxing Day and January 20.

Despite being at the peak of his goalscoring prowess, Van Persie is unable to boast the best record for consecutive games scored in England of current players, with this feat achieved by Tottenham's Jermain Defoe in the early days of his career.

As a teenager, Defoe was sent out on loan by then parent club West Ham to gain experience in the lower reaches of the Football League with Bournemouth, and the diminutive striker stunned everyone with his instant impact.

Defoe, now 30, managed to score in 10 successive Division Two matches for the Cherries, to equal the post-war record held by both John Aldridge, Clarrie Jordan and, as claimed by Manchester City, their striker Billy McAdams in 1957/58.

The Football League tends to be fertile ground for the next generation of goalscorers; something highlighted by Jordan Rhodes during his sensational season for Huddersfield last year.

Rhodes, now of Blackburn Rovers following an £8 million transfer, hit 40 goals in 46 games for the Terriers, which included a run of 12 in five, which started with four in one game against Sheffield Wednesday and finished with five out of six in a pounding of Wycombe.

An impressive patch for Rhodes, no doubt, but it still offers little in the way of comparison to the most rich vein of form GMF could discover, which was achieved by Japanese forward Masashi Nakayama 15 years ago.

The former Japan star, who holds the world record for the fastest hat-trick at international level, hit 16 goals in only four matches in 14 days in 1998.

Nakayama began with a quintuple, followed by consecutive quadruples, before rounding things off with a more traditional hat-trick. Let's see if Messi can beat that.

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Robin Van Persie
European News
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo

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