Lionel Messi himself would have been asking what is next to come after beating Gerd Muller’s 40-year record? And, lets face it, how can he top what he has done in 2012? Messi is like a vintage wine, he gets better every year.
But it has to stop at some point, in fact it will stop at some point.
However, this year he has done the impossible. No other player has done what he has, and now Messi is aiming to be Barcelona’s all-time top-scorer—a position currently held by Paulino Alcantara.
After scoring 90 in a calendar year, Messi’s aim will be to get his side back to winning ways. We must remember that for all of his amazing 90 goals so far in 2012, Barcelona are not the reining champions of anything. It’s not just about what Messi achieves. As good as his personal record is, it would not mean as much as it would if Barcelona fail to win trophies once we reach the finishing line in May.
Messi has to get the club back to lifting titles on every level, and he will. The genius striker is part of a team, a team that has contributed to his own personal success by providing the fuel he has needed to keep up his goal-scoring revolution. The Argentine ace would not have been able to achieve his records without the team behind him, now he has to pay his debt with the club by winning them trophies and making Barcelona great again.
Barcelona are seen as the best in the world, but they need to win the hardware to show for it. Following the Blaugrana’s 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday, Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho said "it’s practically impossible" for his side to win La Liga (via Fifa.com).
With one hand on domestic success in Spain, Messi and Barcelona will now be looking to the Champions League as they aim to live up to expectations once more. The big question is whether Messi will be able to keep delivering at this level. What he has done so far is beyond expectations, but if anyone can do it in 2013 it will be the Argentine international, and it would be no surprise whatsoever if he smashed his way past triple figures in a calendar year.
Looking towards the short term, what Messi can expect now is to win the Fifa Ballon D’Or for a record fourth time even though his club did not win any major trophy in 2012. That in itself speaks volumes about just how internationally recognized a player’s goal-scoring success is. If he does win it, it will be simply for the fact that he has scored so many goals. Teammate Andres Iniesta won Euro 2012 with Spain, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo won La Liga; are they better than Messi? No.
All those voting at the Ballon D’Or (coaches, players and experts) know Messi is the best in the world. You just can’t give the accolade to anyone else as it would be impossible to justify such a move. Barcelona fans will be hoping a Ballon D’Or win for Messi will be the springboard to a Liga and Champions League double in 2013, and with the way things are going, it doesn’t seem like neither Messi nor Barcelona need any motivation.