Remembering Lionel Messi's record-breaking 2012

FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2012

Happy birthday, Lionel Messi.

The Argentine superstar turns 32 today so why not have a Messi appreciation day?

Therefore, we decided to take a look at his record-breaking 2012.

Even by Messi’s standards, the calendar year of 2012 was just ridiculous. He was 25-years-old and at the very top of his game - and his stats proved it.

Let’s take you through some of those crazy stats because they truly are difficult to get your head around.

His 91 goals smashed Gerd Muller’s 40-year record, with the legendary Germany scoring 85 goals in 1972.

Messi’s 91 goals came in just 69 matches for club and country, an average of one goal every 66 minutes he was on the pitch.

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club  - Liga BBVA

Seventy-nine of those goals came in a Barcelona shirt. That includes 13 in 12 Champions League matches, five goals in eight Copa del Rey games, two goals in two Supercopa matches and a crazy 59 goals in 38 league appearances - an astonishing 1.553 goals per game in La Liga.

Twelve goals in nine Argentina games seems average in comparison.

Add to that 29 assists for club and country.

While there were numerous world-class performances from Messi in 2012, there's one match that stands out.

In the Champions League last-16 clash against Bayer Leverkusen at the Camp Nou, Messi scored an incredible five goals in a 7-1. It earned him his second 10/10 from L'Equipe, becoming the only player to score two 10/10 from the French newspaper.

We may never see an individual year in football like it.

Remarkably, Messi didn’t get to lift any trophies for club or country in 2012.

Barca finished second to Real Madrid in the league, while they were knocked out by Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League during the 2011/12 campaign.

Unsurprisingly, though, Messi picked up his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or in 2012.

It’s incredible to think he’s just one further Ballon d’Or since.

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