Messi tops money list - but Torres most talked about

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Lionel Messi has enjoyed more than his fair share of good days in recent years but Tuesday, even by his standards, was particularly impressive.

Yesterday evening, the Argentine became Barcelona's record goalscorer, beating Cesar Rodriguez's revised tally of 232 with a hat-trick in a 5-3 win over Granada at the Nou Camp.

It really is a quite remarkable feat achieved by the 24-year-old, but was not the only accolade he received yesterday, having also been named as the world's best paid footballer.

It would also be fair to assume that, given his achievements, Messi would be the name on the lips of football fans across the globe, as well as the moniker most typed into the social media spectrum.

However, GMF can reveal that the Barcelona maestro is languishing when it comes to mentions on Facebook, with Chelsea striker Fernando Torres currently the most talked about player on the planet.

Messi also finds himself below Manchester United star Wayne Rooney in the Facebook stakes, although he can retain supremacy over Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Having trawled through a database of over 75 million Facebook fans, GMF discovered that Torres was attracted the most chatter over the past 30 days, and by some distance.

The 28-year-old Spaniard could boast an 11 percent more mentions than nearest rival Rooney, while Messi was 20 percent behind the former Liverpool striker.

Although he also finds himself nine percent behind Rooney, Messi does retain a gap above Ronaldo, albeit by a minimal one percent.

GMF also thought it appropriate to compare the Facebook findings to France Football's survey outlining the highest earners in world football, which Messi topped having pocketed £27.5 million last year.

Former England captain David Beckham was second in the list but, on Facebook, the LA Galaxy midfielder could not claim to be anywhere near the most talked about players.

In fact, Torres hauled in almost 40 times as many comments than Beckham, who also failed to make up even a quarter of the ground on Messi.

If there was evidence that money does not, perhaps, always talk, then it can be found when scrutinising the amount of exposure Samuel Eto'o has gained since his controversial move from Inter Milan to Anzhi Makhachkala.

Eto'o became the highest paid player in the world in terms of salary alone when he made the move to Russia last summer but, it would appear, that the 31-year-old's profile has suffered.

Mentions including Eto'o would have to be multiplied a staggering 381 times to challenge the attention afforded to Torres since mid-February.

This perhaps comes as no surprise given the profile of the Premier League compared to Russia's top-flight, but also serves as evidence of the positive feeling created after Torres finally ended his goal drought last weekend.

The Spaniard had not found the net for 24 games before he did so twice against Leicester City on Sunday, and GMF's investigation shows that over a quarter of mentions including Torres have come since he finally ended his barren run.

This would appear to suggest that, should he hit a sustained period of potent form, he will continue to reign supreme above Messi in the Facebook stakes.

However, this is unlikely to bother the humble Argentine superstar in the slightest as he continues to break new ground on the pitch.

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