It s not always right to measure footballers through statistics, when even goals might be misleading regarding a players’ ability, but Lionel Messi passing the 300 career goals mark for Barcelona is nothing but a tale of greatness, when there’s a good chance he still hasn’t reached his peak as a player.
Think of someone like Mario Gomez – Before this season, which has seen him hurt by injury and a demotion to the simply better Mario Mandzukic, he scored 80 goals in 97 matches for Bayern Munich in all competitions. And few would place him among the best in the world at the position. Same goes for Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid, with 92 goals in 163 matches. Very impressive numbers, especially considering he isn’t a full-time starter, but then again, few would consider him truly elite.
But with Messi, who didn’t begin his career as that kind of player, scoring “only” 42 goals in his first 110 matches under Frank Rijkaard, is nothing but a stats player. Sometimes greatness is defined by something else, but with the best player in the world, it’s all about the numbers. The number of titles he has won with Barcelona in the league and the Champions League; the number of goals he scored last season, and the huge lead he is opening at the top of the Barcelona all-time scoring chart.