Real Madrid, Atletico & Sevilla - who are Lionel Messi's favourite opponents?

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Ahead of the Copa del Rey final, Goal takes a look at the clubs the Barcelona star has had the most success against

Lionel Messi has scored over 600 goals in his career but which opposition does he like to score against the most?

Goal has taken a look through the record books to compile the list of which Spanish clubs he has enjoyed scoring the most goals again.

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    #17 Almeria | 13 goals

    Against Almeria, Messi has scored 13 goals in 12 appearances. He and Barcelona have won 11 of these games and drawn only one. In addition, Messi scored one of his best goals against Almeria in 2015 with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

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    #16 Malaga | 13 goals

    Malaga are currently bottom of La Liga but that hasn’t stopped them from keeping Messi out recently. The Argentine has only scored once in his last seven appearances against Malaga, scoring the winning goal in January 2016. Of the 13 goals he has scored against Malaga, six of them came in the 2011/12 season after hitting hat-tricks both home and away.

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    #15 Villarreal | 13 goals

    13 goals in 21 games isn’t a fantastic record for Messi considering his overall exploits, but that is still a record of 0.61 goals per game. Messi again pulled level with Gerd Muller by hitting his 525th goal for Barcelona in all competitions against Villarreal to equal the German’s record of most goals for a single club set at Bayern Munich.

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    #14 Real Zaragoza | 14 goals

    Messi has scored 14 in 16 against Zaragoza. When he scored a hat-trick against Zaragoza in 2010, it was the first time that Messi had hit back-to-back trebles in La Liga.

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    #13 Real Sociedad | 15 goals

    Real Sociedad are Barcelona’s bogey team with the Catalan side not winning away against them for nine years. That hasn’t stopped Messi from hitting 15 goals in 20 appearances when playing against David Moyes’ old team.

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    #12 Levante | 16 goals

    Messi has a cool 16 goals in 16 games against Levante. He equalled Gerd Muller’s record for the most league goals for the same club when scoring his 365th La Liga goal for Barcelona against Levante in his 400th La Liga game. Messi has never been on the losing side against Levante, winning 14 times and drawing twice.

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    #11 Rayo Vallecano | 16 goals

    Messi has his best goals-per-game record against Rayo Vallecano, scoring 16 goals in nine appearances against the current Segunda Division side. Messi scored a hat-trick against Vallecano in 2015 in a game that finished 6-1.

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    #10 Deportivo La Coruna | 17 goals

    Deportivo were one of Spain’s best teams in the early 2000s, however, in recent years they have been a yo-yo club achieving multiple promotions and suffering numerous relegations from La Liga. Messi has struck 17 times in 16 appearances against Deportivo, including a hat-trick in 2012.

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    #9 Getafe | 18 goals

    The goal that made Messi a global superstar came against Getafe. Comparisons to Diego Maradona abounded in 2007 after Messi dribbled past five players before rounding the keeper and finishing coolly in a similar fashion to how his fellow Argentine did against England in 1986. 18 goals in 22 games means that Getafe are one of Messi’s favourite teams to come up against.

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    #8 Real Betis | 18 goals

    Messi has bagged 18 times in 19 games against Real Betis. Messi enjoyed his best footballing year in 2012 when breaking Gerd Muller’s long-standing record of 85 goals in a calendar year after striking 91 times that year. The record-breaking goal came against Real Betis when he hit his 86th goal in 2012.

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    #7 Espanyol | 21 goals

    Messi has scored 21 times in the Derbi Barceloni, however, he has not got a great goals-to-game record against the Catalan club. 21 in 31 would be brilliant for any other player but an average of 0.67 goals per game is a little below par for Messi.
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    #6 Osasuna | 23 goals

    Messi has scored 23 times in 19 appearances against Osasuna. He scored four in a game against Osasuna in 2013 as Barcelona were dominant in winning 5-1.

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    #5 Athletic Bilbao | 24 goals

    Messi scored one of his best ever goals in the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic in 2015 as Barcelona completed a treble that season. Messi has netted 24 times in 33 games against Athletic.

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    #4 Valencia |24 goals

    Messi has scored 24 goals in 30 games against Valencia, including three hat-tricks. Valencia have been inconsistent during Messi’s career, going from Champions League hopefuls to flirting with relegation. Messi scored a hat-trick against Valencia in the Copa Del Rey semi-final in 2016 when Barcelona won 7-0 and cost Gary Neville his job.

  15. #3 Real Madrid | 25 goals

    Messi holds the record for goals in El Clasico, bagging 25 times against Barcelona’s biggest rivals. Messi scored his first senior hat-trick against Los Blancos in 2007 and hasn’t stopped scoring since. Messi memorably scored a last-minute winner in El Clasico in 2017 to secure a 3-2 win for Barcelona at the Bernabeu.

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    #2 Atletico Madrid | 28 goals

    Messi scored his 600th league goal against Diego Simeone’s side last month with an incredible free-kick. It should have come as no surprise to anyone as Messi has bagged 28 times against Los Rojoblancos. Messi has also been booked the most times against Atletico.

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    #1 Sevilla | 30 goals

    This weekend's opponents in the Copa Del Rey final should be scared to death of the Argentinian wizard. Messi has netted 30 times against Sevilla in 32 games, including a hat-trick in 2014 as Barcelona beat them 5-1.