With 35 titles, 1,044 goals, five Ballon d’Ors and five Golden Shoes, Lionel Messi has few challenges left to beat as a footballer. Tonight he faces one of them – shining in the stadium of Barca’s derby rivals. After 10 visits – eight in La Liga, two in the Copa del Rey – Messi has only scored two goals in Espanyol’s current stadium in Cornella.
A bad balance, considering the numbers Messi usually manages. Messi netted a penalty on March 29, 2014 with Tata Martino at the helm, the only goal in a 1-0 win.
Messi also netted the following season, adding the second after Neymar struck in a 2-0 victory. Since then he has not managed to strike there – four seasons later.
Despite these statistics, Messi has destroyed Espanyol on many occasions at Camp Nou. He has 18 against them, the same as Telmo Zarra and Isidro Langara managed. If he scores tonight he will be the player that has scored against them the most.