Analysis

There's a ridiculous stat about Lionel Messi's free-kicks going around

Lionel Messi free-kicks

Yet more numbers that demonstrate what an alien the world's greatest player is

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It's hard to know what to get excited about anymore when it comes to Lionel Messi. Done something daft again, has he? Cool. 

Take last weekend, for example, when the diminutive genius bagged a hat-trick (yawn) against Real Betis – including the disgusting goal below which left team-mate Clement Lenglet with his head in his hands. We feel him. 

The first goal of that trio was a trademark free-kick which scorched into the top corner from 20 yards – and with it, added to the ludicrous statistic below.

According to Spanish statistician @2010MisterChip, Messi alone has scored more goals directly from free-kicks in Europe's major leagues than every side except Juventus since the beginning of 2011/12.  

In almost eight La Liga seasons, the 31-year-old has netted 25 direct set-pieces; now one more than Real Madrid, and five more than Liverpool. And that doesn't even include the Champions League, in which period he's plundered another three (though no natch for Cristiano Ronaldo's six on that front, mind).  

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