Lionel Messi set a new Champions League record on Wednesday night to move further ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of opponents scored against in the competition.
Messi netted a stunning goal to open the scoring for Paris Saint-Germain during their 1-1 draw against Benfica on Wednesday evening. It was a superb, curling finish from the Argentine to cap a flowing team move from Les Parisiens in a move that involved both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
The Argentine superstar whipped the ball into the corner of the net, giving Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos no chance, with a wonderful first-time finish after stepping onto Mbappe's first-time pass in a delightful moment of understanding between the club's star forwards.
That strike meant that Messi set a fresh Champions League competition record. Benfica became the 40th club that the 35-year-old has scored against in the competition.
That is more than any other player, moving him two clear of Ronaldo (not in this season's competition) – who had previously held the record as he has netted against 38 different teams in the trophy.
Messi has scored in 18 successive Champions League seasons – having also netted the first goal for PSG in their clash away at Maccabi Haifa in matchday two, which is more than any other player in the history of the competition.
However, Ronaldo still leads Messi in the number of overall goals scored in the Champions League. The Portuguese forward has bagged a total of 140 goals in the competition, while the strike in Lisbon moved Messi on to 127 – still 13 goals behind the Manchester United forward.
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The two superstars are comfortably clear in the competition's all-time scoring records, with third-placed Robert Lewandowski sitting on 89 goals. Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, who might be eyeing those records over the course of their careers, are on 35 and 27 goals respectively.
Ronaldo is not involved in the Champions League this season after United's failure to qualify from last season's Premier League, in which they finished sixth. It is the first season that Ronaldo has not been involved in Europe's premier club competition since 2002/03, before his first switch to Old Trafford from Sporting CP.
PSG were held to a 1-1 draw in Benfica – the two sides remain locked on seven points each at the top of their group, with Juventus sitting in third place on three points with Maccabi Haifa yet to avoid defeat. PSG are among the favourites to win this season's competition for the first time in their history, while Messi is aiming to reach his first Champions League final since 2015 – when Barcelona beat Juve in the showpiece.