Manchester City Thwarts Real Madrid Star’s Quest to Equal Lionel Messi’s Champions League Record Despite Defeat

The UEFA Champions League dream is over for Manchester City this season. Despite holding Real Madrid to a 3-3 draw in the opening leg of the quarter-finals, the English side fell short in the return leg, managing only a 1-1 draw before enduring an exit on penalties. While Pep Guardiola and Co. failed to defend their last year’s title win, what they managed is to deny their rival’s star player Rodrygo from equaling a unique Champions League record held by none other than Lionel Messi.

Since Guardiola took charge of the Sky Blues, the most Champions League goals were scored against them by the Argentinian superstar, having found the net 5 times. This season’s quarter-final presented Rodrygo a chance to net 2 goals in both legs against City, plus a brace back in 2022, in the semi-finals second leg. Had he scored another goal last night, the Los Blancos star would have successfully equaled Messi’s record against the Premier League side. However, the Brazilian youngster did manage to outshine a few names. 

With a tally of 4, Rodrygo has scored the same amount of goals against Manchester City as his former teammate Karim Benzema and former Olympique Lyon stars, Maxwel Cornet and Moussa Dembéle. Both have often faced Guardiola’s City on the European stage during their time with the Ligue 1 side. Either way, it’s quite an interesting feat that Messi tops against Guardiola’s Cityzens. Yet, La Pulga may not stay at the top for long. 


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If Real Madrid again faces City next season, then Rodrygo will have a chance to overtake Messi’s feat. Hypothetically, on the other hand, if the Brazilian had equaled the feat of the Inter Miami star, he would have fallen short in the overall aspect.


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Has Lionel Messi scored the most goals against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City? 

For now, Lionel Messi can be considered the highest goal scorer against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. However, when considering the overall goals scored against City across all competitions, then, among the active players, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah tops the list with 11 goals. But the Egyptian has scored just 2 goals in CL against City, keeping Messi at the top. 

via Reuters

Interestingly, behind Salah are a few stars from the Premier League. Jamie Vardy stands second with 9 goals with Son Heung-min taking third place with 8 goals. Behind the South Korean superstar is Messi. Unfortunately, now that the World Cup winner has left Europe for the MLS, he won’t be able to further extend his lead. 


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However, Real Madrid’s Rodrygo still has a chance not only to equal Messi’s record but also to outshine the likes of Salah and Vardy, provided he gets another opportunity to face Guardiola and City. Nevertheless, for now, the youngster won’t be regretting scoring more goals last night and must be busy celebrating the win.

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