Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi could become the first player to contribute directly to 100 Champions League goals as his side take on Juventus in Saturday’s grand finale.
The Argentine superstar has broken numerous records in his career, including the record amount of club goals scored in a single La Liga campaign (50) and a full calendar year (79).
His influence on the current Barca team is as big as ever, and their run to the Champions League final is largely indebted to Messi’s brilliance in the semi-final victory over Bayern Munich.
Scoring 10 goals already in this season’s competition, the 27-year-old has the opportunity to create history as his side face Serie A champions Juventus in Europe’s biggest club encounter.
Firstly, one more goal will see him surpass Cristiano Ronaldo’s season record of 10 European goals and pull him one clear of the Real Madrid superstar in the all-time scoring charts (both on 77).
Yet, Messi will always put his team’s success before his own and even if he doesn’t find the net, providing a telling assist will see him become the first ever player to achieve triple figures in another special area.
99 - Lionel Messi has had a hand in 99 Champions League goals in his career (77 goals and 22 assists in 98 games). Problems.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 1, 2015
Juve’s task of stopping Messi and co. has taken a hit in the build-up to the clash as influential defender Giorgio Chiellini has been ruled out with a calf injury.
Andrea Barzagli is the man expected to take up his role, and the Italian couldn’t have asked for a more difficult opponent on his return as Barca’s 120-goal trident of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez seek yet another major trophy success in their 2014/15 Treble bid.