Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the Spanish league football match
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the Spanish league football match
AFP

Lionel Messi has become the first player in the history of La Liga to have 20 goals and assists in a single season to his name. The latest achievement came after Barcelona's 1-0 win against Real Valladolid on Saturday in which the Argentine set up Arturo Vidal in the early minutes of the game.

Messi is also the first player to reach 20 assists in a single La Liga season since former team-mate Xavi did the same in 2008-09.

The 33-year-old is the second player to achieve the feat in Europe's top five leagues this century. Frenchman Thierry Henry was the first to achieve the feat when he had scored 24 goals and assisted 20 for Arsenal during the 2002-03 Premier League season.

The Barcelona skipper has 22 goals to his name this season, and is four goals ahead of Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.

With this 1-0 win over Valladolid, Barcelona has reached 79 points in the La Liga standings and is now just one point away from table-toppers Real Madrid. Barcelona will next face Osasuna on Thursday, July 17.

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