Lionel Messi closing in on Cristiano Ronaldo's LaLiga penalty record

The Barça captain scored from the spot in Tuesday's win over Leganes

Leo Messi, una máquina de conseguir récords | PERFORM.

With his goal from the penalty spot in Barcelona's 2-0 win over Leganes, Lionel Messi moved on to 21 goals for the season (he also has 14 assists) in the 24 games he has played. 

Juan Manuel Díaz

@JuanmaDiaz65

However, he also moved closer to one of the records held by Cristiano Ronaldo from his time with Real Madrid (2009-18): most penalties scored in Spain's top flight. 

Messi is now joint second on that list with the Mexican Hugo Sanchez, another Madrid legend. Both have scored 56 penalties in a Liga. 

Sanchez's goals came with Atletico between 1981 and 1985 and them Madrid between 1985 and 1992 with Madrid after a historic transfer across the Spanish capital. Barça turned down the chance to sign him because Terry Venables preferred Steve Archibald... but that's another story. 

Sanchez, who spent another season (1993-94) in La Liga with Rayo Vallecano won the Pichichi five times and scored 234 goals in 347 games, including 56 penalties from 71 attempts. 

'D10S' TARGETS 'CR7'

Messi has scored 56 penalties from 68. Ronaldo scored 292 goals in 311 league games and won the Pichichi three times. Now at Juventus, with Madrid in the Primera he scored 61 penalties from 72.  

D10S has scored 440 goals in 476 games in La Liga and has won six Pichihcis -- he's on track for No.7 -- and is now five penalties behind Ronaldo. 

The following players come next in the list of penalty scorers in La Liga, all legends for the clubs they played for:

  • Ronald Koeman (FC Barcelona, 45 goals)
  • Lubo Penev (Valencia, Atlético, Compos & Celta, 44 goals)
  • Dani Ruiz (Athletic Club, 34 goals)
  • Rafa Marañón (Espanyol, 34 goals)
  • David Villa (Valencia, Barça & Atlético, 32 goals)
  • Ander Garitano ( Athletic Club & Real Zaragoza, 31 goals)
  • Raúl Tamudo (Espanyol, 30 goals)
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