Defenders everywhere are rejoicing today. The club season is finally over, and Lionel Messi is no longer able to terrorize them.
For a few months, at least.
Messi closed out a record-breaking season with another goal on Friday in Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Copa del Rey final.
The strike was Messi's 73rd of the season in all competitions. That's a new record.
The trophy was Barcelona's fourth of the season after previously capturing the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
In addition to the 73 goals, Messi provided 28 assists this season. Every goal and every assist appears in the video above.
At this point, there's not really much we can add to the chorus of praise heading Messi's way. But here's what ESPN Soccernet's Graham Hunter wrote before the Copa del Rey final:
Mature and no longer a kid, maybe, but with at least seven or eight major years still ahead of him, the junction he's reached is an intriguing one.
He's about to work under Tito Vilanova, only the third coach of his reign in the Barcelona senior team. Vilanova is one of the coaches who was in charge of Messi during his formative youth football years and has been instrumental in the flowering of the South American's genius over the past few seasons.
Next season will indeed be intriguing. For now, though, let's just appreciate the genius Messi showed this season.
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