With seven winners already announced, we are onto the eighth and final category – the Best Individual Performance of 2011/12. For those who don’t remember the nominees, feel free to refresh your memory here, although that may not be necessary. Most of the awards (bar a notable exception or two) have produced a landslide winner, and as expected, this category is no different. After all, we all remember that performance; and honestly, did any of the other nominees stand a chance? Well, judging by the margin of victory (a massive 59%) this was a one-horse race. The Best Individual Performance of 2011/12 is...
1st – Lionel Messi vs Bayer Leverkusen – 72%
Lionel Messi’s five-goal haul against Bayer Leverkusen will go down not only as the best performance of a Barcelona player in 2011/12, it may well go down as one of the best performances of a Barcelona player ever witnessed. It wasn’t just the number of goals scored; it was the ruthless manner in which he scored them (five goals from six shots on target, and seven overall) and the calibre of the opposition he faced on that very night. Every typical Messi finish made an appearance – we saw some inch-perfect chips, a couple of accurate driven strikes and a real poacher’s effort as well. Messi’s five-star performance brought him one step closer to Jose Altafini’s European Cup record for goals in a single campaign and to Gerd Muller’s record for most goals in a season. Curiously, Altafini also scored five goals in a European Cup match during his record-setting season (although the opposition Union Luxembourg weren’t exactly Leverkusen quality), and Gerd Muller scored five goals in a match four separate times in his illustrious career. I guess we should expect Messi to make performances like this a little more common then!
Lionel Messi-1st player with 5 goals in Champions League (via espnstar)
Breakdown of Voting:
3rd: Lionel Messi vs Valencia – 10%
=4th: Pedro vs Athletic Bilbao – 3%
=4th: Thiago vs Hospitalet – 3%