Lionel Messi rewrites history, shatters Cristiano Ronaldo’s record as PSG survive Maccabi scare in UEFA Champions League
Argentine stalwart Lionel Messi has once again etched his name into UEFA Champions League (UCL) folklore as the Paris Saint Germain (PSG) superstar shattered multiple records on Thursday. One of the greatest players in the history of the beautiful game, Messi surpassed his Ballon d’Or arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo to script a spectacular record during PSG’s first away game in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League season 2022-2023.
Hosts Maccabi Haifa stunned Ligue 1 giants inside the first 30 minutes of the contest at the Sammy Ofer Stadium. However, PSG bounced back through Messi’s opening goal for the visitors in the 37th minute of the first half. A clever finish from Messi not only paved the way for PSG to restore parity but the former FC Barcelona captain also created a sensational record in Europe’s biggest competition at club level – the Champions League.
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By scoring the all-important equaliser for the Les Parisiens (The Parisians), Messi became the first player in Champions League history to score in 18 consecutive seasons of the celebrated tournament. The former FC Barcelona captain also shattered Ronaldo’s record by scoring against Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League.
Messi is the first player to score against 39 different teams in the prestigious tournament. Manchester United icon Ronaldo has scored against 38 different clubs in the Champions League. The former Real Madrid and Juventus star is also the all-time top scorer in the elite tournament. Ronaldo (141 goals) is followed by Messi, who has netted his 126th goal in the Champions League on Thursday.
Messi is also the third-most capped player in the history of Champions League. The PSG superstar recorded his 158th appearance in the celebrated tournament. Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were all on target for PSG as the visitors registered a 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa.
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