phenomenon. sorcerer. the biggest.
The last point remains a matter of opinion, but it cannot be denied that Lionel Messi is not one of the greatest footballers in the history of football.
The 36-year-old striker won his eighth Ballon d’Or on Monday, three more than any other player, and continues to set records that may never be broken.
Messi led Argentina to victory in the World Cup in Qatar in December, before ending his 20-year career in European football with FC Barcelona to join Inter Miami, a Major League Soccer franchise, in July.
As he continues to shine – for club and country – we take a look at some of the achievements and records Messi has achieved over the years.
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The announcement of Messi’s nomination as a winner of the men’s Ballon d’Or, which rewards the best footballer in the world for the 2022-23 season, was not surprising.
The inspiring role he played in helping Argentina win the World Cup for the first time since 1986 almost ensured their winning record was taken to eight, despite the efforts of prolific Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who now plays in Saudi Arabia, is Messi’s closest rival with five titles, but at 38 years old and without even being named in the list of 30 finalists, it is difficult to see the Portuguese striker challenging Messi’s record.
Messi and Ronaldo’s dominance of the Ballon d’Or is such that the only other former winners still active are Croatia’s Luka Modric and France’s Karim Benzema. They are both over 30 years old, and have no chance of getting close to the record.
It is likely that Haaland, Jude Bellingham, the Real Madrid and England midfielder, Vinicius Junior, the Real and Brazil striker, and even Harry Kane, the Bayern Munich and England striker, will be present in the future, but it will take a long time. Before someone approached Messi.
Most goals in one season in the Spanish League – 50
It is impossible to say when this impressive goalscoring record will be broken, but history suggests it could take some time.
Messi’s 50 goals in 37 matches for FC Barcelona in the 2011-2012 season not only constitute a record in the Spanish League, but also constitute the largest number of goals scored by a player in a single season in one of the five major European leagues since the creation of the English Premier League in 1992. -1993.
Since the creation of La Liga in 1929, only three players have reached 40 goals. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have achieved it twice, as did Luis Suarez seven years ago, the last time the mark was reached.
Most goals in one season in all competitions – 73
This number seems insurmountable. During the record-breaking 2011-12 season, Messi scored 73 goals in all competitions for FC Barcelona and no one has come close to that since.
Haaland broke all sorts of records during his Premier League debut last season, but although he seemed to be scoring every week, he finished the season with 52 goals, 21 shy of Haaland’s monumental effort.
Even Dixie Dean, Everton’s great, has 10 goals, and he scored 63 in the 1927-28 season, a Premier League record that stood for 95 years.
Most Champions League goals for a club – 120
It seems that Messi will lose the record for the Champions League top scorer. It sits in second place, 11 goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s 140, and both have played perhaps their final matches in the competition.
But Messi’s 120 goals with Barcelona are the most goals scored by any player for any club in the competition.
Ronaldo’s 105 goals with Real Madrid are the highest, followed by a large margin, Karim Benzema’s 78 goals with Real Madrid.
Since players remaining loyal to one club is very rare in modern football, it is difficult to know who can match Messi’s achievement in the near future.
Most goals for Argentina – 106
Messi is Argentina’s top scorer, and he never stops making headlines.
During his international career, which began in 2005, he scored 48 goals, more than previous record holder Gabriel Batistuta, and 63 more than third-placed Sergio Aguero.
With Messi continuing to add to his tally and his closest rival retiring, it will be a long time – if ever – before anyone comes close to the Argentine’s record.