Lionel Messi scored his 100th Champions League goal in Barcelona’s last-16 second leg against Chelsea, joining Cristiano Ronaldo as the only players to hit that illustrious milestone.
The Argentine star scored his 99th goal in Europe’s top club competition in the third minute at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, slipping a near-post shot between the legs of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to mark the fastest goal of his career for club and country .
And after setting up an Ousmane Dembele strike, Messi hit the century mark in the 63rd minute with a second nutmeg of Courtois.
That tally capped Barca’s 3-0 win on the night, with the La Liga leaders advancing via a 4-1 aggregate triumph.
Messi and Ronaldo are now the only players with 100 Champions League goals, though the Barca star managed the feat in 123 matches — 14 fewer than the 137 games his Real Madrid counterpart needed to reach the threshold.
A closer look at the numbers shows Messi was decidedly more economical on his road to 100 goals, with the 30-year-old needing 1,758 fewer minutes and 266 fewer shots than Ronaldo.
But Messi still has work to do if he wants to catch Ronaldo as the competition’s all-time leading scorer, with the Portuguese star currently on 117 goals.
The brace marked the latest standout performance in another prolific season for Messi, who has scored 34 goals through 43 matches in all competitions during the 2017-18 campaign.
100 – Lionel Messi took 14 fewer apps, 1758 fewer minutes and 266 fewer shots to score his 100th Champions League goal than Cristiano Ronaldo. Greatest?pic.twitter.com/20Fyle8yOn
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 14, 2018
Barca will discover their Champions League quarter-final opponent Friday, with Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Liverpool, Sevilla and Roma joining Catalans in the final eight.
Messi and Co. then return to the pitch on Sunday when they resume La Liga play with a match against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou.