In the absence of Neymar, all eyes will be on Tuesday on the duel between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé on the occasion of the first leg of the knockout stages of C1 between FC Barcelona and PSG (9 p.m., on RMC Sport 1) . This season, Messi and Mbappé are very close in terms of statistics.
Very similar statistics
On the lawn of Camp Nou Tuesday, Paris Saint-Germain will have to do without its star Neymar, injured against Caen in the Coupe de France last week. But against FC Barcelona, on the occasion of the knockout stages of the Champions League, PSG will be able to count on its other star, Kylian Mbappé. This season, the world champion rivals in terms of statistics with Lionel Messi. The duel between the two attackers will be followed very closely during this match.
“Messi is watching me … It’s flattering to see that such a player does not neglect you”, explained Mbappé in December 2019 after his fight with the Argentinian for the European Golden Shoe in 2018-2019, finally won by the Pulga. This season, Lewandowski (24 goals) seems on course to win this trophy, but Mbappé continues to do as well as Messi in the statistical lines.
Messi and Mbappé have both played 28 games in all competitions this season. The first scored 19 goals, one more than the second. But Mbappé is leader of the scorers classification in Ligue 1 with 16 goals, while Messi is behind Luis Suarez with 15 goals. Above all, Mbappé scores this season more often than Messi with a goal every 116 minutes, against a goal every 129 minutes for the Argentine.
Mbappé less decisive in C1
On the other hand, the Frenchman is not yet as decisive as the Pulga in the Champions League. This season, Mbappé had great difficulty finding the net in C1 and ended up unlocking his counter on the last day of the group stage against Basaksehir with a brace (5-1). Messi has scored 3 goals in 4 Champions League games this season.
To win the duel against Messi, Mbappé will have to do better than in recent seasons in the knockout matches. The 2018 world champion has, with PSG, scored only once after the round of 16 in nine games. Mbappé, however, has for him a greater precocity than Messi in C1. The Frenchman reached the 20-goal mark in the competition at age 21, when the Argentinian had to wait until he was 22 to achieve this performance.
Messi starts 2021 better
Another statistic that goes in the direction of Messi: the Argentine starts the year 2021 much better than Mbappé. Since the beginning of January, the PSG striker has scored 4 goals in 10 games played in all competitions. Messi, for his part, has scored 9, in 10 games also played. Statistics that confirm the current trend. Messi gradually regains his best level and Barça takes advantage of it, while Mbappé has suffered for several months without managing to regain a simplicity and efficiency that complemented his supersonic speed.
Mbappé more of a passer
As astonishing as it may seem, Mbappé dominates the statistics duel with Messi in the area of assists. This season, the Frenchman serves his teammates more and has 9 assists in all competitions. Messi, for his part, has delivered “only” 8 this season. A far cry from the 21 assists – in La Liga only – of La Pulga last year. Very close in terms of statistics this season, Mbappé and Messi will seek Tuesday to take the advantage in a match where all the cameras will be on them.