The world’s best footballer, of this era and of all-time (in a majority opinion of those writing about football/soccer on this site), Lionel Messi, is turning 28. What?! He’s 28 already?! Yes, and he has left a trail of beaten rivals and broken records in the path he has made for himself since leaving Argentina and joining Barcelona at the age of 13.
So what has he won? As part of the team, he has seven league titles, three Copa Del Rey trophies and four Champions League titles. With Argentina it comes down to the Olympic Gold Medal in 2008, always a bigger deal for South American sides than Europeans for some reason.
Individually, he has won the Ballon d’Or four times (2009-2012), the European Golden Shoe three times and an endless list of awards from about every possible local and international award giver.
And the goals? He has the most goals in one calendar year (2012, 91 goals). His 79 goals in 2012 for Barcelona alone is also a record. He scored 73 goals in all competitions during the 2011-2012 season. He is tied with Cristiano Ronaldo for the most goals in Champions League history (77), the player with the most Champions League hat tricks (five) and one of only two players (along with Luiz Adriano) to score five goals in one Champions League match.
He also holds the La Liga record for most goals in a season (50) and all-time (283), not to mention the all-time leading goalscorer for Barcelona in all competitions and also specifically the league and European competition.
After that kind of introduction, what’s left? To say that even if he doesn’t win the World Cup, it has no implication on him being the best of all-time. Unless you’re already decided against it, and then nothing he does will matter. But he is, and you’re wrong for thinking otherwise.
And for the finish? Messi has about a million videos and clips online. Here are our top 5 from the endless selection.
The quality isn’t great, but it’s a nice complication of something Messi does at least twice every match and almost always works.
Growing up at Barca
Nice video of Messi as a kid growing up and moving through the Barcelona youth system until achieving total glory.
Oh my god!
Messi scoring with two balls despite using just one kick.
Messi when he was 8
The good old days.
Messi scoring 91 goals in 2012
The impossible year becoming possible.