How Barcelona's Lionel Messi could overtake Sunderland in tonight's El Clasico clash with Real Madrid
Barcelona's Lionel Messi could overtake Sunderland for the number of goals scored this decade if he scores in tonight's clash with Real Madrid.
Both Messi and the Black Cats have scored 489 goals since the start of 2010, following the Argentine's hat-trick against Sevilla last time out.
Sunderland host Plymouth at the Stadium of Light in today's 3pm kick-off, before Messi will take to the field at the Bernabeu to face Los Blancos in La Liga.
The stat was one of many compelled by Opta’s Duncan Alexander in the build-up to the second El Clasico in three days - following Barca's 3-0 victory in the Copa del Rey final.
Messi has already scored 25 goals in 23 league games this season and has an impressive record against Real, after scoring 26 times in 40 appearances against Madrid.
The stat also reflects Sunderland's demise since the start of the decade, which has seen the Black Cats suffer back-to-back relegations to League One.
When Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League in 2017, the Black Cats went down with just 26 league goals - in the same season Messi netted 37 times in La Liga.
Things have improved for the Wearsiders this season, though, and Jack Ross' men have scored 59 times in the third tier this campaign.