The stats that show why Messi is the most valuable player in La Liga

The Spain international is prepared to wait for his opportunities at Camp Nou, having enjoyed a promising end to 2016-17 following a tough start

Lionel Messi bagged another brace in Saturday's win over Real Sociedad, helping Barcelona to a vital 3-2 win as the club try to run down Real Madrid and the title in La Liga. 

The Argentine has now scored 29 times in the league this season, but it's the importance of his goals that really stands out. 

Messi in attack, messy in defence

Barcelona's superstar has picked up 17 points for his team with those 29 strikes, more than any other player in Spain's top flight, begging the question of exactly where Barca would be without him. 

And for anybody wondering if Messi is just benefiting from the service around him, take into account that he's also scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in Europe's top five leagues this season. 

The Catalans will need Messi at his brilliant best over the next week, with Barcelona looking to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Juventus in the Champions League quarter-finals midweek before the crunch Clasico against Real Madrid next weekend. 

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