FC Barcelona: Lionel Messi's 10 Best Match Performances in His Career

Shawn ECorrespondent IIJanuary 2, 2012

FC Barcelona: Lionel Messi's 10 Best Match Performances in His Career

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    Since debuting for FC Barcelona in 2004, Lionel Messi has turned in his fair share of cracking performances.

    It’s no coincidence that the majority of Messi’s top performances have come on the biggest stage.

    Whether he’s playing against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid in La Liga or Santos in the Club World Cup, Messi has made it a habit of turning in scintillating performances against the world’s best clubs.

    Good habit? I’d say so.

    So without further ado, here are the 10 best performances of Lionel Messi’s career.

Outshining Neymar

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    Date: 18/12/2011

    Opponent: Santos FC (Neymar)

    Competition: 2011 FIFA Club World Cup

    Messi silenced his one critic, Pele, with an absolutely brilliant display against Santos FC in the Club World Cup final in Japan, with the Argentine netting two goals for Barça in a 4-0 rout of the Brazilian outfit.

Leo Dominates Viktoria Plzen

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    Date: 01/11/2011

    Opponent: Viktoria Plzen

    Competition: UEFA Champions League

    As simple as one, two, three.

    Just give Leo another hat trick—and yet another match ball.

Carving Up Osasuna

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    Date: 17/09/2011

    Opponent: Osasuna

    Competition: La Liga

    Leo bagged three goals and two assists in this fixture, which Barça won 8-0.

    It's safe to say that this one got a bit messy for Osasuna. Pun intended.

Late Winner Against Los Blancos

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    Date: 17/08/2011

    Opponent: Real Madrid

    Competition: Spanish Super Cup (second leg)

    In arguably the most exciting Super Cup in recent memory, Messi scored two goals, while adding an assist, and propelled the Catalans to a 5-4 aggregate victory over bitter rivals Real Madrid.

    Just another day at the office for Leo.

Messi Sinks United

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    Date: 28/05/2011

    Opponent: Manchester United

    Competition: UEFA Champions League (final)

    Messi, who scored the game-winner, gave the United defence fits all night long.

    The little Argentine literally ran circles around Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who just couldn't quell Leo's shiftiness and trickery.

One vs. XI

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    Date: 20/11/2010

    Opponent: UD Almería

    Competition: La Liga

    Yet another three-goal, two-assist game for Leo. That says it all.

Dispatching the Gunners

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    Date: 06/04/2010

    Opponent: Arsenal FC

    Competition: UEFA Champions League

    Warning: Arsenal supporters look away.

    For those of you who have forgotten, Barça's No. 10 single-handedly defeated the Gunners on this day, bagging four goals in the process.

    After the game, Messi said, "These four goals really make me happy. We needed to have this kind of match. We started badly, but we fixed it. What really matters is that the team keeps going like this, working and doing it well."

    Take a bow, Leo. Take a bow.

Off-Balance Header Against the Red Devils

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    Date: 27/05/2009

    Opponent: Manchester United

    Competition: UEFA Champions League (final)

    Who said Messi couldn't use his head?

    Oh wait, that was Pele, who once claimed that Neymar was a more complete player than Leo.

    Let's just leave it at that.

Bayern Who?

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    Date: 08/04/2009

    Opponent: Bayern Munich

    Competition: UEFA Champions League

    Another big game, another huge performance from Lionel Messi.

    The Argentine winger scored two goals and added an assist as FC Barcelona destroyed Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich 4-0 at the Camp Nou.

Hat-Trick Hero vs. Real Madrid

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    Date: 10/03/2007

    Opponent: Real Madrid

    Competition: La Liga

    Not many 19-year-olds can claim to have scored a hat trick versus Real Madrid. But then again, Lionel Messi was no ordinary 19-year-old back in 2007.