Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has drawn level with Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo in the race to become the greatest ever goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history.
The 27-year-old took his tally to 69 goals in European football’s most coveted tournament after scoring in the Catalan giants clash with Eredivisie champions Ajax, a match which ended 3-1 in favor of Luis Enrique’s side.
Messi, who netted the Blaugrana’s only goal in the 3-2 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain back in late September, set up Brazilian attacker Neymar for Barcelona’s opener in the 7th minute, and after missing a great opportunity to make the score sheet a while later, the Albiceleste captain managed to find the net after 24 minutes.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner later made way for second-half substitute Munir El Haddadi as Luis Enrique looked to preserve Messi’s fitness ahead of Saturday’s crucial El Clasico tie with Real Madrid, at Santiago Bernabeu.
Messi and Ronaldo are now only two goals off the all-time record, held by Los Blancos legend Raul who scored 71 goals in 142 appearances during his time with Real Madrid and Bundesliga side Schalke 04.
It is important to note that Messi, two years younger than the 29-year-old former Manchester United ace, has reached this feat with only 89 appearances under his belt, 16 less than his La Liga counterpart, who took 105.
Another even more important fact to note is that Ronaldo is set to take centre stage in the Champions League on Wednesday when Carlo Ancelotti’s men lock horns with Merseyside club Liverpool.
Liverpool, who came achingly close to clinching the English Premier League title last season, saw their shaky defense cost them their shot at the league during the final days, an issue that stills plagues Brendan Rodgers side until now.
Ronaldo, who failed to score a single goal at Anfield during his six-year spell at Old Trafford, has managed a whopping 15 goals in only eight matches in the Spanish Primera Division this season, and will be looking to distance himself from Messi in the goalscoring charts on Wednesday, and who knows, even break Raul’s record.