He still hasn’t revealed what his future holds less than three months away from the expiration of his Barcelona contract, but Lionel Messi faces two decisive games within a week to win his eleventh La Liga title, his seventh Copa del Rey and his fifth domestic double as a Barcelona player.
Before returning to La Cartuja to face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa, however, he faces off against old rivals Real Madrid, as Mundo Deportivo note. Saturday evening’s game will be his 23rd against Madrid, and Valdebebas will be the 90th stadium Messi has represented Barcelona at. He’s scored at 69 of the previous 89, 15 at the Santiago Bernabeu, although he hasn’t scored against Madrid since Cristiano Ronaldo left, his last goal against them coming in May of 2018.
Already the Pichichi of El Clasico with 26 goals, Messi will draw level with Sergio Ramos on 45 played to hit a new record. Given the uncertainty over Ramos’ future, he might not play another. Messi is also the Pichichi of this La Liga season with 23 goals, four more than Gerard Moreno and Luis Suarez. His primary focus will be helping his team secure victory, crucial in the title race.