Lionel Messi’s Wanda Metropolitano Challenge

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Of the 20 stadiums in use in LaLiga Santander this season, there is only one where Barcelona’s No.10 has yet to score a league goal.

Everyone knows that Lionel Messi’s stats are ridiculous. He has scored hundreds of goals and has netted multiple times against all 19 teams who play in LaLiga Santander alongside Barcelona. Yet there is one LaLiga Santander stadium where he still hasn’t managed to score a league goal, and that’s precisely where he’s visiting this weekend.

Lionel Messi’s Wanda Metropolitano Challenge - Brand Spur

Barcelona visits Atlético de Madrid this Sunday night for a 9 pm CET kick-off at the Wanda Metropolitano and the Argentine master will be hoping it’s third time lucky as he searches for his first LaLiga goal at the ground. He scored a whopping eight times at Atleti’s old Vicente Calderon stadium but it yet to score at the stadium in the league since Los Rojiblancos moved to their new home back in 2017.

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Both LaLiga meetings between the two sides at the Wanda Metropolitano since that move finished in 1-1 draws, with Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele scoring the goals for Barça. Now Messi will be keen to get in on the action and there’s no reason to believe he can’t, considering he has eight LaLiga Santander goals already this season and is scoring at a rate of one goal every 79 minutes of domestic action.

Messi does, however, at least know what it feels like to see his name on the scoreboard at the Wanda. He was amongst the scorers when Barcelona won the Copa del Rey final there against Sevilla FC in 2018, netting once in the 5-0 victory along with Philippe Coutinho, Andrés Iniesta and a brace from Luis Suárez.

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If he does score this weekend to bag his first league goal there, he’ll have scored in every top-flight stadium in Spain. His most fertile hunting ground over the years has been Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan (12 goals) and Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu (11 goals), proving time and time again that he shines on the biggest stages and on the biggest occasions.

His tally at the remaining current top-flight stadiums:

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10 – Ciutat de Valencia (Levante UD); 9 – Mestalla (Valencia CF); 8 – Ipurua (SD Eibar); 7 – El Sadar (CA Osasuna), Benito Villamarin (Real Betis); 6 – Son Moix (RCD Mallorca), Estadio de la Ceramica (Villarreal CF), Coliseum Alfonso Perez (Getafe CF); 4 – RCDE Stadium (RCD Espanyol), Reale Arena (Real Sociedad); 3 – Nuevo Los Carmenes (Granada CF), Mendizorrotza (D. Alaves); 2 – San Mames (Athletic Club), Butarque (CD Leganes), Abanca Balaidos (RC Celta), Jose Zorilla (Real Valladolid).

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As things stand his LaLiga Santander tally at the Wanda Metropolitano is zero, but few expect it to stay that way for long.

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