There have been a lot of impressive streaks in sports in 2013.
The Miami Heat have won 17 straight games, and in February LeBron James became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points and shoot 60 percent from the field in six straight games.
The Chicago Blackhawks earned a point in 24 straight games, the longest points streak to start a season in NHL history.
And the Baylor Lady Bears came into Sunday on a 28-game winning streak (and have only lost one game in the past two years, for that matter).
But none of those accomplishments can top what Lionel Messi is doing for Barcelona.
On Saturday, the brilliant striker scored a goal in La Liga play for the 17th straight game. From the BBC:
The 25-year-old came off the bench to register his 40th league goal of the season for Barca in the 88th minute of their 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.
The world player of the year chipped in for his 27th goal in 17 matches.
Barca said Messi had beaten Pole Teodor Pewterek's 1937-38 record of scoring in 16 straight games for Ruch Chorzow.
So now Messi has the record for most goals in a calendar year and the longest scoring streak ever. What can't this guy do?
Consider this—in Europe's four biggest leagues (La Liga, the English Premier League, Serie A and the German Bundesliga), only seven players have scored 17 or more goals period, and not a single player in those four leagues has 27 goals.
That's insane. Messi's last 17 games have been more productive than any other player's season to this point.
Obviously, it is difficult to compare team accomplishments to individual ones, though Messi's individual achievements have led Barca to 14 wins and a draw in the past 17 contests and a 14-point cushion over second-place Atletico Madrid in the La Liga table.
That's why I think his streak is the most impressive one we've seen in sports thus far this year. Not only has he led his team to a huge lead in the league table, but his individual accomplishments are well beyond what anyone else in the game is doing.
As amazing as LeBron's streak was, it lasted for six games. It was a first in NBA history, so he deserves credit for that, but was it really more impressive than scoring a goal in 17 straight games?
I don't think so.
Look, with all due respect to James, Brittney Griner, Miguel Cabrera, Novak Djokovic and whatever name you might add here, there isn't a more dominant athlete in the world than Messi at the moment. Nobody dominates his or her sport as much as Messi dominates his.
He's not just the Michael Jordan of soccer—he might be better. If you don't believe me, just wait for him to score a few more goals.
He'll win you over, I promise.
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