Lionel Messi: The Mr NumberOneDerful!

Someday I will explain that I was at the birth of one of the footballing greats; Leo Messi! - Ronaldinho

I have more than a hundred quotes from fellow footballers and other great sports personalities on Lionel Messi in my archive, but the above really catch my fancy and indeed captured the way I view this great football-prodigy of our time. History belongs to those who learn from it, Lionel Messi seems to be a good student of history having learned about the pitfalls that court stardom, he has been in charge of his game of stardom right from 2009 when he came to the ‘spotlight of recognition’ as the ‘World Best Player’ and up to now he is not ready to let go, in fact, he is still the BEST! Lionel Andre Messi came into this world some 25 years ago just like any other mortals; he was born like any normal being, but grew to be seen as a too fragile lad who will never be recognized to be a trail blazer in his chosen career. That once tiny, growth-deficient talent has now grown to be a titan, too mighty and relevant to be ignored. He seems to be ahead of his time with the way he carries himself both on and off the pitch. Welcome to the world of LIONEL MESSI!

At 25 and just 8 years plus into his blossoming career he has recorded strings of firsts and as well broken and set new world records in the game we all love to watch – football! He has eventually become the highest goal scorer in a calendar year with his total 91 haul. He has scored 195 goals so far in the league for Barcelona meaning that, César Rodríguez’s 192 efforts is now history. Messi as the highest league goal scorer in the history of Barcelona has a chance to envelope Real Madrid Raul’s 228 efforts by the time the season will be wrapped up in June 2013. It can be summarized that, what took César Rodríguez (another Barcelona Legend noted for scoring from corners) 13 years to build, Messi smashed in just 8 ½ years and what took Raul to build in 16 years, Messi may likely cancel by the time this season will be concluded come June 1st 2013 (all in Messi’s 9th years of professional football). With Messi’s current scoring form, Raul’s Champions League all time highest goals of 71 will be history by the time the 2013/2014 season ends. Below are the records he has broken, and other records within his reach in the not too far distance;

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi remains the only player in history to score 82 goals (for club and country) in a season (2011/12).

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi currently holds the record for the highest number of goals scored for club in a calendar year (2012) at 79.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi currently has scored a record 59 league goals for Barcelona in a calendar year (2012).

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi has nine hat-tricks this calendar year (2012), seven for Barcelona and two for country.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi is the first and only player to score 8 hat-tricks in La Liga in 2011/12 season.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi currently holds the record for the highest numbers of hat-tricks scored in all competitions in the history of F.C Barcelona, he has 21 currently.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi is currently the holder of most goals scored in half of a league (La Liga) with 26 goals.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi (at 25 years old) only needs 5 more goals in the league to emerge as the youngest La Liga player ever to score 200 league goals, a record held by Telmo Zarra at 29 years 352 days.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi currently holds the record as the only player with the highest numbers of braces at the beginning of a season (2012/13); he has 11 doubles so far and 22 in a calendar year, 2012.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi will hit and pass the 300 mark of official goals scored in his entire club career (excluding friendlies) this season 2012/13, he currently has 288 in 355 games! I don’t know of any footballer whether living or dead at Messi’s age of 25 and his 9-year career of professional football who can boast of this record.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi has currently reduced the official goals difference between him (he has 288 so far) and his closest rival, Cristiano Ronaldo (has 292 so far), to just 4 in all club’s career competitions and overall (that is for both club and country) to just 11, despite the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo began his professional career two good years ahead of Messi, that means, in this season (2012/13) Messi may likely surpass Cristiano Ronaldo’s total club’s goals, now that’s magical if you will ask me.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi will likely surpass the all time record of 252 La Liga (league) goals in 278 games by Telmo Zarra (1940-1955) in the next 2013/14 season (he currently has 195 in 231 games).

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi remains the only player in the history of Champions League with the highest goals (26) scored in the knock-out phase.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi only has the next season 2013/14 to beat Paulino Alcantara’s 369 goal haul in all competitions in Spanish football.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi has now scored 319 career goals so far for club and country; he has 288 goals in 355 games for Barcelona and 31 goals in 76 games for Argentina.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi will definitely score more than 50 league goals and more than 73 goals in all competitions in this season, 2012/13 (mark my words)!

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Messi will emerge at the end of this season, 2012/13 as the only player in the history of top flight league to score 50 and above in a back to back league matches!

In 1972, Müller at 27 years scored 42 goals in 34 games in the league, 7 in 6 in the Cup, 12 in 5 in the League Cup, 10 in 4 in the European Cup, 1 in 4 in the Cup Winners' Cup and 13 in 7 for Germany, that is, in 60 games he scored 85 times. Messi at 25 has now scored 91 in 2012: 59 in 38 league games, 5 in 8 in the Cup, 2 in 2 in the Super Copa, 13 in 12 in the Champions League and 12 in 9 for Argentina, that is, in 69 games he scored 91 times. Indeed, Müller is a goal machine! However, considering the fitness of players, better technologies in training players, lighter balls, better pitches and more strident rules now compared to the era of Müller, I think Messi deserves all the credits in goal scoring because Messi is more of a utility player who assists and still scores (remembered he had the highest numbers of goals scored and assists made with 73 goals and 29 assists last season, 2011/12 now that is terrific if you will ask me) with a class. Müller’s 15 years (at age 34) in Bayern Munich fetched him 398 goals in 453 appearances in the League and overall 566 goals in 607 appearances. If you ask me, I will bluntly tell you that a Lionel Messi will likely erase both records (in the league and overall) in his 13th season (2016/17 season, by the time he would be 29) with Barcelona. Comparing Müller’s goal scoring records with Messi I think it’s too early, I may be forced to go with Pep Guardiola (former Manager of Barcelona, who groomed Messi to this level) here when he declared that, “the best thing to do about Lionel Messi is, JUST WATCH HIM.” He is just 25 and already he has been compared to the ‘GREATS’ in the game, now if you would ask me, I will tell you, that is a record on its own. Müller was more of a modern Fillipo Inzaghi (king of the penalty box) the more reason a Messi who operates from virtually all the flanks in the field should be RESPECTED!

How good can this Bionic Extraterrestrial Mortal be? With lots of promising years ahead of him I think your guess is as good as mine. Indeed, Lionel Andre Messi has remodeled the face of football and left in his wake many greats who have plied their trades in the round leather game, and may likely be the most remarkable and greatest player ever in the history of the game by the time he finally hangs his boot. He plays the game with an in-depth passion and emotion that cannot be separated. A perfect role model for youngsters, he is far from scandals, no alcohols, multiple women, and other vices attached to stardom. He is a work of art to watch when dribbling, a perfect controller of the ball and an enigma when it comes to passes. He has proved time and again that, he has no rival and he may never will till he retires. His catalogues of solo goals are unmatched in this modern era of football, truly, this Messi can score a CENTURY, it’s a question of time! He is my Mr NumberOneDerful in the game of football, although, with due respects to other ‘GREATS’!

N.B: As 2013 is approaching and 2012 is winding up, it is important Messi’s efforts at goals be reviewed for the year 2012, below are his efforts;

Lionel Messi in 2012

His 0-goal games are 22

His 1-goal games are 16

His 2-goal games are 22

His 3-goal games are 6

His 4-goal games are 2

His 5-goal games is 1

Total 91 goals

<em>This does not represent the views of Barca Blaugranes or SBNation</em>

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