He’s great, he’s amazing, he’s legendary. What’s new? Lionel Messi is on his way to yet another record, only 5 goals away from tying the 85 goals scored by Gerd Muller in a calendar year. Is it his greatest achievement? Just another day in the office it seems, for the best footballer on the planet.
Since August 19th, the day the La Liga opened, Messi has played in 24 matches, including performances for Argentina. His tally? 28 goals in 16 matches, failing to score in 8 of them. He had an assist or two in three of those scoreless matches. It pretty much means that if Messi scores, his 1.75 average on matches he did find the net in shows that another goal is almost a certainty.
He’s had 10 braces, the latest of them (a two match streak and third in four matches) in the easy 3-0 win in Moscow against Spartak. He’s scored “only” one hat trick so far, in the 5-4 win over Deportivo, currently putting him at 17 league goals this season – most in the La Liga obviously; and 5 in the Champions League.
His 5 in the Champions League puts him at 56 UCL goals at the age of 25. How good? Tied for second best on the all-time list, next to Ruud van Nistelrooy, with only Raul standing in the way. Raul, 15 goals away. As incredible as it sounds, with potentially 9 matches left the Argentinian in the competition this season, it’s not unfathomable thinking he can reach that this season, and it’s impossible to think he won’t make it next season during the group stage.
And it’d be almost disappointing to see Messi not make it 86 goals in 2012. Barcelona have seven matches left until the Christmas break, one of them a Copa Del Rey match against Alaves, which is the only one that’s even remotely close to being a one that Messi takes a seat in. Still, with his scoring record and his form, which is standing at 9 goals in his last five matches for Barcelona.
It seems like nothing can stop the best player in the world can claim another record in an incredible year for him personally, while his club missed out on every major title, the only thing Ronaldo fans can hold on to in the discussion of the best in the world, and the one deserving the Ballon d’Or for 2012. Not enough to take it away from Messi, who might be a bit more boring in his on and off field persona, but is simply the better player.