Lionel Messi could retire today and he would still be remembered as arguably the finest football in history.
His free-kick against Olympiakos on Wednesday was his 100th goal in European competition and the achievements don’t end there.
Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer. A record five Ballon d’Or awards. An astonishing 91 goals in a single calendar year.
Arsene Wenger made one of the best quotes about Messi after the Argentinian fired four goals against his Arsenal side in the Champions League in 2010.
"He's like a PlayStation," Wenger said. “In the biggest games, exceptional players still make the difference.
“Messi is the best player in the world, and by a distance.”
That was seven years ago, when Messi was supposed to still be developing as a 22-year-old.
Yet he had already risen to the top of the game. Remarkable stuff.
One curse that hung over Messi’s head entering the season was his drought against Gianluigi Buffon.
The 30-year-old had failed to score in his previous three encounters with the legendary Italian goalkeeper but he put that hoodoo behind him at the fourth time of asking last month.
Murcia challenged Messi on Twitter
Messi’s goalscoring feats have reached the point where teams are delighted if he hasn’t netted against them.
Take Spanish side Real Murcia, for example.
Messi has failed to score in his two appearances against the Segunda B side in his career.
And Murcia have challenged the Barcelona magician to do just that when the clubs meet in the Copa del Rey on October 24.
Messi is unlikely to play in the game - the reserves are usually given an opportunity in the early rounds of the competition - but maybe Murcia’s tweet will tempt Messi to push for an appearance.
Speaking from the perspective of Murcia’s stadium, the tweet reads: “You played in my first match and after two matches you have not marked me yet.”
That first match came in 2006, when Argentina played Spain in a friendly to mark the opening of the Estadio Nueva Condomina.
Murcia’s boast is admirable but it’s hard not to feel that Messi will make them regret their words one day.
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