Lionel Messi: Barcelona Legend Continues to Prove He's World's Best

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IDecember 1, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammate Jordi Alba after scoring his team's fifth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club at Camp Nou on December 1, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

After netting two goals in a 5-1 triumph over Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona's Lionel Messi is on the precipice of history as he stands heads and shoulders above every other player in the game. 

Messi notched his goals in the 25th and 70th minutes in Barcelona's Saturday walk through the park.  This runs up his total, for club and country, for the calendar year to 84. For those of you keeping score at home, that is just one shy of Gerd Muller's 85—that record has stood since 1972. 

With four games for Barcelona left this month, you have to like Messi's chances to break this longstanding record—especially since he has recorded a double in each of his last five appearances.  

Messi is simply unstoppable. This is not a revelation. The dude has won the past three Ballon d'Ors, but shockingly, the 25-year-old has taken his game to another level. 

And this leaves all other players just trying to catch up to Messi. So while Cristiano Ronaldo is piecing together an outstanding year, he has no legitimate claim to being called the best in the world.

This La Liga season is cementing this fact. 

Ronaldo laid a nice claim to this mythical title by leading his Real Madrid team to the La Liga crown over Messi last campaign. That was the centerpiece to his argument as the best in the world despite having slightly inferior stats to the record-setting Messi. 

Well, things are evolving far differently this time around. Barcelona is in the midst of an unprecedented run. They sit atop the La Liga table by six points as they have captured 40 out of a possible 42 points. 

Yes, this Barca squad is insanely talented, but there is not another player on that team that is nearly as valuable as Messi. 

So, now Messi has all the arguments going in his favor, and it is now time to stop questioning if he or Ronaldo is the best player on the planet and start debating if Messi is the greatest player ever on the greatest team ever.