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Free-kicks: Messi answers Lorient challenge

Free-kicks: Messi answers Lorient challenge

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Publish on 10/05 at 11:00

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Lionel Messi's stunning goal against Reims was his first free-kick in Ligue 1 Uber Eats - but it took him to 60 career goals from this kind of set piece, and now Lorient - the only other side to have scored with a free-kick this season - have some stiff competition!

Lionel Messi scored his first goal from a direct free-kick in Ligue 1 Uber Eats and with Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday at the expense of Kasper Schmeichel and OGC Nice (2-1), his eighth attempt of the season and a fortnight after Anthony Lopes (OL) denied him a goal with a spectacular save.

The Argentine became the tenth player to score a free-kick for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 Uber Eats since the arrival of QSI (2011-12 season). He succeeds compatriot Leandro Paredes, who converted his only free-kick goal in the 1-4 win at Strasbourg in April 2021. Over the period, the leader is still Zlatan Ibrahimovic (seven goals), ahead of Angel Di Maria (six) and Neymar (four).

PSG alongside specialist Lorient

In total, this gem from the Parisian No.30 against Les Aiglons was the 26th direct free-kick scored by the capital club over the period - the highest such total for any club in Ligue 1 Uber Eats. Although, among the high achievers, Dane Daniel Wass' Evian were the most efficient, with their 12% success rate.

Number of goals scored from direct free kicks in Ligue 1 Uber Eats (since 2011-12):
26: Paris Saint-Germain
23: Olympique Lyonnais
21: Montpellier HSC
18: AS Monaco
14: Stade Rennais and Evian TG
13: LOSC
12: FC Lorient
11: OM, OGC Nice and Toulouse FC

This season in the league, of the 82 direct free-kick attempts, four have ended up in the net. And before Messi's, FC Lorient were the only club to have scored this way, with three successes in eight attempts: through Laurienté, Ouattara and Le Fée.

Just the beginning

But, according to Paris coach Christophe Galtier, Lorient's dominance could be seriously undermined if Lionel Messi continues this run.

"When he is happy, he performs well and returns to the standards he has had throughout his career," said the PSG boss. "Now he is getting back to scoring. Can he become the best player in the world again? Yes."

Messi's next chance to make it 61 free-kick goals comes on Saturday night as the capital club travels to Reims for their Ligue 1 Uber Eats Round 10 clash.