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Man or Machine? Find out why Lionel Messi’s ridiculous record of scoring in finals makes him great value as Barcelona take on Juventus

The Champions League final takes place on Saturday and Lionel Messi goes into it having scored 20 goals in 23 finals. Here's exactly why the little magician is worth a punt this weekend

by Josh Powell | June 3, 2015

Champions League Final 2015

Juventus v Barcelona

Saturday, 7.35pm, Sky Sports 1

All eyes will be on Berlin on Saturday evening as Juventus take on Barcelona in the battle to be crowned Champions of Europe. The media spotlight will be heavily focused on four-time Ballon d’Or winner and footballing genius Lionel Messi, who is aiming to score his third Champions League Final goal. The man’s genius is often celebrated, but as he approaches the end of another record-breaking season, the Paddy Power Blog felt it was only right to honour the little magician yet again.

{Click or tap on the infographic to enlarge it}


  • Get the latest betting on Lionel Messi to find the onion bag yet again, right here: Desktop | Mobile

Not too shabby. An average of a goal a game across La Liga and the Champions League in one season is quite an achievement. To maintain that average over more than 400 games is out of this world. It’s 100/1 that alien life will be proven this year with Paddy Power, and if Messi keeps this kind of form up, you’d be half-tempted to back it. Juventus keeper Gigi Buffon even admitted earlier in the week that Lionel Messi is ‘an extra-terrestrial who plays with us humans.’

The best players will always deliver the goods in the biggest games, and Lionel Messi is certainly doing just that. The Barcelona star has a staggering 20 goals in 23 finals, including both of Barcelona’s recent Champions League Final wins, both against Manchester United, in Rome (2009) and Wembley (2011). That record also includes a hat-trick in the Club World Cup Final, one goal in three European Super Cup Finals, 10 goals in six Spanish Super Cup Finals and four goals in five Copa Del Rey Finals.

Most recently he opened the scoring in last week’s Copa Del Rey win over Atletic Bilbao, with one of the best cup final goals you’ll see for a long time.

When it comes to putting cash in punters’ pockets, Messi has been delivering all season in La Liga and Europe. The Argentinian striker has scored anytime in 35 games this season, and opened the scoring on 17 occasions. Although that has left the Paddy Power bean counters in a cold sweat most weekends, it has been doing wonders for the punters’ bank balance all season.

  • A £10 bet on Lionel Messi to score anytime in every game this season would have given you a profit of £209.07
  • A £10 bet on Lionel Messi to score first in every game this season would have given you a profit of £139
  • A £10 bet on Lionel Messi to score and Barcelona to win every game this season would have given you a profit of £279.16
  • Will Messi find the net in yet another final? Get the latest betting here: Desktop | Mobile

Lionel Messi

Barcelona face Juventus in the Champions League final in Berlin, and Messi will be aiming to score in his third European final in a row. While Juventus have lost their last three Champions League finals on the spin and go into Saturday’s clash as the underdogs, Barca have won their last three in 2006, 2009 and 2011. The stand-out stat when we looked at Messi’s profit and loss was the £280 profit on the wincast and that’s caught our eye again this weekend.

The little magician has scored in 31 Barcelona victories this season at an average price of 4/6. When Barca face Juventus however, it is 17/10 for Messi to find the net at anytime and the Catalan side to win inside 90 minutes. Normally we’d say it’s unlikely for a player to relentlessly and gloriously deliver on the biggest stage, while the only player to have scored in more than two different finals is the great Alfredo Di Stefano.

We’d put nothing past Lionel Messi however.

  • Will Messi find the net in yet another final? Get the latest betting here: Desktop | Mobile

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