Lionel Messi has now scored more free-kicks for Barcelona (48) than Cristiano Ronaldo has in his club career (47). With the two greatest footballers of the modern era being under the scanner of fans, this would be another stat that would excite the fans of the Barca captain. He edged long-time rival Ronaldo when Barcelona blanked Granada 4-0 in a LaLiga match on Saturday. Also Read - ELC vs BAR Dream11 Team Tips And Predictions, La Liga: Football Prediction Tips For Today’s Elche vs Barcelona on January 24, Sunday

During the game, Messi came up with a near-perfect free-kick. Here is the goal: Also Read - FA Cup Roundup: Manchester City Beat Cheltenham 3-1; Arsenal Knocked Out After Shock Loss Against Southampton

With the brilliant double strike against Granada, Messi has now scored the most braces by any player in the 21st century, doing so in 137 different games. With the two goals, Messi has become the current highest goal-scorer in the season.

With the win, Barcelona rise to the third spot in the points table. The Catalans did not get their season off to a good start but are now bringing their best game to the fore. Messi, like always, is the key to the success of Barcelona.

With Messi set to leave Camp Nou in the next few months, the Barcelona manager reckons the club needs the Argentine star to achieve great things.

“Barca need Messi, we need him to achieve great things and fight for the titles. With the score, we were able to make changes and rest very important players like Messi and De Jong,” Koeman told reporters after Barca’s thumping win over Granada.

Rumours suggest that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the clubs that are closest to getting the services of the Barca talisman.

Speculations about Ronaldo leaving the Turin club is also on the grapevine. All in all, an exciting transfer season beckons.