As if the 2019-2020 Spanish La Liga season wasn’t memorable enough with the coronavirus stoppage, Lionel Messi ensured to grab a piece of the record books in the interrupted and then re-initiated the campaign. Despite scoring his fewest league goals since the 2008-2009 season, Barcelona’s legendary star made up for it by assists 21 times, a new Spanish first division record.
The initial record was held by Messi’s former teammate Xavi, who tallied 20 assists in that 2008-2009 season, which ended in a historic treble for the Catalan giants:
With his 25 goals and 21 assists this season, Messi also became the first player in a top five European league to achieve a fabled 20/20 season, joining Thierry Henry in 2002-2003. Perhaps more impressively, Messi also achieved that accolade in just 33 league appearances; he had a late start to the season due to a calf injury that kept him out until the middle of September.
Though 25 goals was his lowest tally in over a decade, Messi should still walk away with his 7th top scorer title for Spain’s first division; Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema would need four goals in his team’s last game on Sunday to just tie Messi.
In all likelihood, what would be a career season for anyone else not named Cristiano Ronaldo will end up as slightly disappointed for Messi, depending on his club’s success in the Champions League. Moreover, even with a letdown of a campaign, he has carved his name once again into the La Liga record books.