There are an abundance of records out there that prove just how good Lionel Messi is at football.
He’s Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer (439 goals). He has won more Ballon d’Or awards than any other player (five). He’s scored the most official goals in a calendar year (91 goals in 2012).
The list is never-ending.
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However, the Daily Mail have unearthed one statistic that borders beyond belief. One that proves that this is Messi’s world - we’re just living it.
The Argentine has scored 4.39 per cent of all Barcelona’s goals in their 117-year history. Since their inception in 1899, almost one in every 20 goals has been scored by Messi.
The 28-year-old netted his 300th and 301st La Liga goals on Wednesday as Barcelona beat Sporting Gijon and, in doing so, notched the 10,000th goal in the club’s storied history.
It seems that not a game goes by without the magician breaking a record and Wednesday was no different. His brace against Gijon extended his lead over Telmo Zarra, who held the record for most goals in Spain’s top division before Messi arrived, to 50 scores.
Some fine goalscorers have graced the Camp Nou over the years, including Diego Maradona, Michael Laudrup, Ronaldo Nazario and Rivaldo, but for one player to have scored over four per cent of their total goals is astounding.
And Messi could have added many more to his tally, including two more goals in his past two games. Against Celta Vigo on Sunday the Argentine ignored the chance to score a penalty, instead passing the ball to Luis Suarez from the spot.
In the game against Gijon, Barcelona were awarded another penalty which Messi allowed Suarez to take as the Uruguayan hunts the Pichichi - the end-of-season award given to the league’s highest goalscorer.
Hand of God
However, there is one goal that should have been wiped from Messi’s tally. In an incident reminiscent of Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal against England at the 1986 World Cup, Messi scored with his hand against Espanyol in 2007.
It was an act of dishonesty from Messi but, fortunately, a rare one.
Since making his debut in 2004 he’s played in a front three alongside Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry and Eto’o, David Villa and Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro and now Suarez and Neymar, and the outcome has always been the same - Barcelona win and Messi scores an insane number of goals.
That Messi’s game isn’t built upon his physical abilities suggests he can continue his goalscoring feats for many more years. So long as the exquisite touch, sublime vision, clinical finishing and immense dribbling remains, it’s easy to picture Messi scoring Barcelona’s 11,000th goal in a few years’ time.
Is Messi the greatest footballer of all time? Have your say in the comments section below!
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