Lionel Messi’s form from dead ball situations in the past few years has simply been on a different level than everybody else to play the sport, as he has been surpassing one milestone after the other.
Only recently, he scored his 50th direct free kick for club and country against Real Valladolid on Tuesday, a match which saw him come away with two goals and assists each to his name.
To celebrate the landmark and pay tribute to La Pulga, Spanish journalist David Saura Ramiro has posted a graphic on Twitter showing from where those attempts were hit and where they ended up in the net.
As many as 44 of those goals were scored by Messi while he donned the famous blue and claret jersey of the Blaugrana, the first of which came at their home ground against Atletico de Madrid in November, 2008. The remaining six were struck by him while representing his national team Argentina.
The graphic shows that the furthest from which he has managed to convert a free kick is 31 metres, which was incidentally also his first freekick goal for La Albicelestes. It further suggests that most of the successful attempts lodged themselves in the upper corners of the net almost touching the woodwork, albeit a few of them have gone in despite being placed centrally.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature indicated by the graph is the different distances and angles from which the shots have been hit. Be it the edge of the penalty box or from farther out, be it directly in front of the goal or diagonal to the wooden frame, the little maestro has managed to do it all.
Equally fascinating is the fact that he had only scored 19 until the start of 2015/16 season, since then he has added 31 more to his tally. With more than half of the present season to go, it’ll be interesting to see whether he is able to reach a half-century of goals for Barça by the end of 2019/20.