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Is Lionel Messi the most unlucky player in Europe?

Hard luck, Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona star is not accustomed to misfortune in his illustrious career, but he has now hit the woodwork more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues this season.

Messi struck the post with a magnificent, curling 25-yard free-kick in Saturday's 1-1 draw away to LaLiga title rivals Atletico Madrid.

And that was the sixth time he had hit either the post or crossbar since the start of 2017-18, in what was only his eighth top-flight appearance.

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Opta statistics show no player in LaLiga, the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A or Ligue 1 has hit the woodwork as many times as Messi in this campaign.

Still, the magnificent Messi has already scored 14 Barca goals in all competitions this season, as well as netting a hat-trick for Argentina against Ecuador that led his country to the World Cup - not bad for a player whose total could easily be so much higher.