At his new club PSG, Lionel Messi hasn’t really been the goal-scoring threat that he used to be at Barcelona. It took him three months to score his first goal in Ligue 1, and since then, in the next 19 games, he has found the net only twice. The footballer is aware of this and has acknowledged that he is struggling to adapt to the physical demands of the league. 

“Ligue 1 is a more physical league, where games are hotly contested, where there is a lot of back and forth,” Lionel Messi told Sport. “The players are strong and fast. Physically, it changes a lot.

But despite the goal-scoring drought, Messi has been playing a meaningful role with his impeccable vision and passing, having already recorded 13 assists in 20 Ligue 1 games.

In the latest game against Clermont Foot, Messi registered three assists to set up a 6-1 win for the PSG. His third assist also set up a hat-trick goal for Kylian Mbappe. Neymar too found the back of the net thrice in the game. 

The latest graph, as posted on Twitter by a user named gasipo_opinions, showed the passing efficacy of Messi. The user plotted a graph of expected assists against progressive passes per ninety minutes, and Lionel Messi turned out to be a clear outlier. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joshua Kimmich too are in the elite category, while Benjamin Bourigeaud and Thomas Mueller have great expected assists output. 

Messi also became the first footballer in Ligue 1 to have a three-assist game twice in a season.