Messi is not scoring as much as in his peak goal-scoring form but he is currently scoring the ‘most decisive’ goals of his career at Barcelona.
This is the conclusion we arrived at based on what the scoreboard says before Messi scores in a particular game.
We will show how we arrived at this conclusion based on a series of charts below.
The first chart (Chart 1) shows the distribution (in %) of Messi’s career goals at Barcelona according to what the score was when his goals occurred, calculated separately for each season. As we can see, the % of goals of each category are highly scattered.
In the current season, Messi has 62% of his goals in those moments of the game when Barcelona have been losing or held to a draw. This is a higher % than in any of his previous seasons (since 2008/2009, when he was a regular starter).
This is a much higher % than during the last season (36%), for example, where he had a high percentage of goals (38%) scored when Barcelona were already 2+ goals up in the scoreboard.
The same argument can be made for the 2011/2012 season, in which Messi scored 73 goals for Barcelona, but 38% of which was scored when the team was already leading by 2+ goals.
The second chart below (Chart 2) shows the same distribution of Messi’s goals scored in La Liga and in the Champions League. His % of goals scored when the team is losing or held to a draw in the CL (52%) is considerably higher than in La Liga (42%).
Analyzing Messi’s goals like this presents us an interesting set of data: his goals against Real Madrid.
With 21 goals, Messi is El Clásico’s all-time highest goalscorer, but the most stunning fact is that he has scored 17 or 81% of these goals in the most crucial moments of the game when Barcelona have been losing (8 goals) or held to a draw (9 goals).
Is Messi “finished”? He’s only just started.