Posted: Tuesday 14th February 2012 at 11:19 am

A Champions League love story – Barcelona’s Lionel Messi needs just one more goal tonight to break competition record for strikes in the knockout…

Goal :    Goles, it is often said in the Spanish-speaking world, are amores. And if that is indeed the case, Lionel Messi surely has plenty of love in his life right now.

The Ballon d’Or winner scored an incredible 53 in all competitions last term and has already added an astonishing 37 in 2010-12 for Barca, playing – as always – with plenty of heart.

So it is perhaps fitting that on Saint Valentine’s Day, the much-admired Argentine can create his own celebration of love by breaking yet another record, as he looks to surpass the mark set for goals scored in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Six against Arsenal and 12 others, versus Real Madrid (two), Manchester United (two), Bayern Munich (two), Celtic (two), VfB Stuttgart (two), Lyon (one) and Shakhtar Donetsk (one), have brought up 18 in total, leaving Leo level – at the age of just 24 – with current record holders Raul and Andriy Shevchenko, now in their mid-30s and on the verge of retirement from the game.

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