Several people in the football world consider Lionel Messi to be the greatest of all time. However, the Argentinian great has had his most disappointing season to date, scoring only three goals in Ligue 1, his lowest league total since the 2004/2005 season.
While he has the season’s second-most assists (13), his goal total was expected to skyrocket in a competition dominated by Paris Saint-Germain.
The Barcelona veteran has taken his time adjusting to life in France, and leaving the Nou Camp has taken its toll.
Three league goals is abysmal, especially when you consider that some of Europe’s top 5 leagues’ defenders have outscored him.
Defenders today are significantly more aggressive, and some have scored more than the great man himself this season.
On that point, here are five defenders you wouldn’t believe have scored more league goals this season than Lionel Messi.
Since Xavi’s arrival at Barcelona, Ronald Araujo has been one of the top centre-backs in La Liga this season.
This season, the 23-year-old forward, who has previously played alongside Lionel Messi, has outscored the club great.
Araujo’s debut goal for his team came against Granada in September, and he has since scored other crucial goals for his team. This was followed by huge goals against Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, as well as a recent 4-0 triumph over Real Madrid in El Clasico.
The kid has shown his defensive prowess, but his threat from set-pieces has been equally crucial for his team. Lionel Messi is no stranger to scoring crucial goals for Barcelona, and he will be pleased with Araujo’s efforts this season.
Jan Bednarek has been a member of a Southampton defense that has allowed 52 goals this season, more than 18th-placed Burnley (45).
While Bednarek has been a bit of a liability at the back, his attacking contributions have come at the right time.
This season, the centre-back has scored against Leicester City, West Ham United, and Brentford, but his most crucial goal came last weekend against Arsenal.
By the conclusion of the season, Lionel Messi may have scored more goals than Bednarek, but the Polish star can be happy with his achievement right now.
- Mavropanos Konstantinos, 4 goals
Konstantinos Mavropanos is most known for joining Arsenal in 2018, but the Greek ace has performed admirably during his loan stay at Stuttgart.
The Bundesliga club is currently facing relegation, but the Arsenal loanee might be their ticket out.
Mavropanos’ four goals have come against Wolfsburg, Freiburg, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Hoffenheim, with his team winning only one of those games. As a result, the Greek star is likely to have a bit of scoring luck, despite his excellent defensive performances.
The first full-back on this list is Alex Moreno, who has performed admirably this season. With five goals and four assists in 28 La Liga outings, the Spaniard has been a workhorse on the left wing for Real Betis.
The 28-year-old great is also the league’s leading scorer this season, and for good reason. He makes a significant contribution in the build-up and is particularly good in the last third of the pitch.
His defensive contributions are crucial, and his stamina levels, combined with a keen awareness of his surroundings, distinguish him as a capable modern full-back.
This season, Nahuel Molina has been one of the right-backs in Serie A. Through his amazing attacking performances, the full-back has scored more goals than any other defender in Europe’s top five divisions.
Six times against six different opponents, Molina has found the back of the goal. He has won against Venezia and Torino, as well as twice against Cagliari.
Juventus are now said to be interested in signing the full-back, highlighting his outstanding performances this season.
Molina may never have imagined himself outscoring Lionel Messi in a league season, but the PSG attacker’s countryman has done just that this season.