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Messi's incredible finals record

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 20/12/2015 sportyou
Los antológicos números de Messi en las finales © Getty Images Los antológicos números de Messi en las finales

Leo Messi will play in his 25th final in Japan, a figure that most footballers throughout history could only dream of. More impressive still is the efficiency of the Argentinean in these decisive games, in which he has scored no fewer than 24 goals.

His first appearance in a final was in the U-20 World Championship in 2005, against Nigeria. Argentina won the title, with two goals from Messi. A year later, he took part in his first two finals with FC Barcelona: in the Spanish Super Cup final against Espanyol, and in the UEFA Super Cup final against Sevilla, which Barça lost 0-3. Leo did not manage to score in either.

Since then, his stats in the finals he has played in have been spectacular. He has appeared for Barcelona in six Spanish Super Cup finals, scoring 10 goals, four UEFA Super Cup finals, with three goals to his name, five Copa del Rey finals, netting four times, three Champions League finals, with a tally of two, and two Club World Cup finals, in which he has found the net three times.

With the Argentina national team, he has played in four more finals: the aforementioned U-20 World Championship of 2005, two goals, the 2007 Copa América, which Argentina lost 3-0, the 2008 Olympic Games , in which Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0, and the 2014 World Cup Final against Germany, which Argentina lost 1-0.

In the inevitable comparison, these numbers contrast greatly with those of Cristiano Ronaldo. In the first place, the Portuguese player has appeared in many fewer finals with Real Madrid: "only" eight. Cristiano scored the only goal in the 2011 Copa del Rey 2011 final,hit two more in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup, scored from the penalty spot against Atlético de Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final in Lisbon, and managed a brace in the UEFA Super Cup final Sevilla the same year.

With his national side, Ronaldo has only ever played in one final, the 2004 Portugal European Championship, in which Portugal lost to Greece by one goal to nil. While playing for Manchester United, though, he scored in the 2008 Champions League final, as well as appearing in the finals of the FA Cup, the Community Shield and the League Cup. To this, the Portuguese Cup and Super Cup finals should be added.

Messi ha ganado el 68% de finales jugadas. CR7 el 59%. Messi ha marcado 24 goles en 25 finales. CR7, 11 goles en 17http://t.co/VWKmb8L2JI— Messi vs Cristiano (@michelinho80) septiembre 22, 2015

All of Messi's finals playing for Barcelona

2006/07 17-20/08/06 Spanish Super Cup Espanyol 0

2006/07 25/08/06 UEFA Super Cup Sevilla 0

2008/09 13/05/09 Copa del Rey Athletic Club 1

2008/09 27/05/09 Champions League Manchester United 1

2009/10 23/08/09 Spanish Super Cup Athletic Club 2

2009/10 28/08/09 UEFA Super Cup Shakhtar Donetsk 0

2009/10 19/12/09 Club World Cup Estudiantes 1

2010/11 14-21/08/10 Spanish Super Cup Sevilla 3

2010/11 20/04/11 Copa del Rey Real Madrid 0

2010/11 28/05/11 Champions League Manchester United 1

2011/12 14-17/08/11 Spanish Super Cup Real Madrid 3

2011/12 26/08/11 UEFA Super Cup Oporto 1

2011/12 18/12/11 Club World Cup Santos 2

2011/12 25/05/12 Copa del Rey Athletic Club 1

2012/13 2-15/09/12 Spanish Super Cup Real Madrid 2

2013/14 21-28/08/13 Spanish Super Cup Atlético de Madrid 0

2013/14 16/04/14 Copa del Rey Real Madrid 0

2014/15 30/05/15 Copa del Rey Athletic Club 2

2015/16 06/06/15 Champions League Juventus 0

2015/16 11/08/15 UEFA Super Cup Sevilla 2

2015/16 14/08/15 Spanish Super Cup Athletic Club 1

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