Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid: Barcelona star's goals and stats in El Clasico

Lionel Messi Barcelona goals in El Clasico

All eyes will be on Lionel Messi when Barcelona face Real Madrid on Saturday evening. 

With Messi's contract due to expire in June, this could be the last time the revered superstar lines up for Barca against their historic rivals from the Spanish capital. 

He comes into the game on a scintillating run of form which has seen him notch 16 goals in his last 12 outings, while he's also provided six assists. 

That's a stunning return even by Messi's astronomically high standards, and he'll surely be chomping at the bit to make a profound impact on proceedings ahead of his potential departure. 

Every club in world football is acutely aware of Messi's threat, but Real are particularly familiar with the Argentine's prowess in the final-third. 

Messi has scored 27 career goals against the Spanish capital outfit in just 44 matches and also provided 14 assists for good measure. 

And on the 16 occasions in which Messi has scored against Real, Barcelona have lost just three times. 

That he has such a phenomenal record in a fixture of El Clasico's magnitude speaks volumes about his ability to thrive on the biggest occasion, and Zinedine Zidane will certainly be fearful of his match-winning qualities on Saturday.

Since he made his first appearance against Real on 19 November 2005, Messi has scored two hat-tricks, including the first of his career, and five braces against the 13-time European Cup winners.

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He's also been booked 14 times, which is more yellow cards than he's picked up against any other side. 

Not only does he possess the technical quality to cause damage on the front foot, but his tendency to collect bookings in El Clasico proves he has the bite and aggression for such an emotionally-charged affair despite cutting such a humble, almost introspective figure both on and off the field. 

These are just some of the key Messi stats to consider ahead of the clash, but what about his goals? 

Well, he's scored a breadth of different strikes ranging from sumptuous dinks to instinctive close-range efforts, celebrated ecstatically in front of a silenced Bernabeu crowd and single-handedly decided fixtures with his ethereal dribbling ability and dead-eyed composure.

It's been a quite the career for Messi in Spanish football's most famous derby, and you can watch all 27 goals with commentary in the video below. 

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In the 246 competitive meetings, which side has won the most?

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