PSG's Lionel Messi Passes Cristiano Ronaldo After Scoring Against 39th UCL Club

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 14, 2022

JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Lionel Messi added another record to his resume, scoring against his 39th different team in UEFA Champions League play.

The Paris Saint-Germain star scored against Maccabi Haifa to even Wednesday's match at 1-1 in the first half:

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Mbappe with the dance moves, Lionel Messi with the finish, his 126th <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> goal.<br><br>PSG level it up. 💫 <a href="https://t.co/nW7iQdMSwi">pic.twitter.com/nW7iQdMSwi</a>

The goal pushed Messi past rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored against 38 different teams in his UCL career:

B/R Football @brfootball

Lionel Messi—39 clubs scored against in the UCL<br>Cristiano Ronaldo—38 clubs scored against in the UCL<br><br>🤭 <a href="https://t.co/DkJEqOzZKH">pic.twitter.com/DkJEqOzZKH</a>

Ronaldo still holds the all-time record for Champions League goals at 140, but Messi can cut into his deficit this season with Ronaldo's Manchester United not making the tournament.

Messi's 126th goal in the competition also made him the first player to score in 18 consecutive Champions League seasons, per CBS Sports.

The 35-year-old won this event four times with Barcelona, but he is now looking to help Paris Saint-Germain win for the first time. The club is considered one of the favorites thanks to Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, but the team was eliminated in the round of 16 last year.

It's a different scenario for Maccabi Haifa from the Israeli Premier League.

This is just the third appearance in the Champions League group stage for Maccabi Haifa, which last reached this point in 2009-10.

The underdogs got an opportunity to host one of the best teams in the world, while Messi made the most of his chance to score against yet another club in his incredible career.


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