Just when you thought that Lionel Messi couldn't get any better, couldn't be any more prolific and couldn't break any more records—he went one better, again.
Like so many times throughout his career when the expectations on Messi seemed to have reached their peak, the Argentinian international somehow managed to better his previous marks and shatter those expectations with a new reality as to what he can do on a football pitch.
According to Barcelona's Twitter account, the 25-year-old has broken an 80-year-old record by scoring in his 17th successive La Liga game for Barca—netting a game-sealing goal off the bench for the Catalan club in their 2-0 win over last-placed Deportivo.
BBC Sport also shared insight on the new "record" that Messi has achieved, and the incredible significance behind just how prolific he is in front of goal:
Lionel Messi scored in his 17th successive La Liga game, breaking a world record which has stood since the 1930s, according to Barcelona.
Barca said Messi had beaten Pole Teodor Pewterek's 1937-38 record of scoring in 16 straight games for Ruch Chorzow. There was no immediate confirmation of Barcelona's claim by world governing body FIFA.
Messi has now scored 52 goals in all competitions this season—a mark that seems incredible given how far ahead he is of other players around the world.
He's 14 goals clear of second-placed Cristiano Ronaldo, 18 goals clear of the EPL's top scorer in Luis Suarez and over 20 clear of any other league's best.
Messi is simply in rare touch—even for him—and as a result, it will set up for an absolutely thrilling matchup against AC Milan during the week. For in their Champions League match, with the odds seemingly stacked against them, Messi will no doubt fire for La Blaugrana.
Down a two-goal margin, Barcelona will be looking to attack from the opening whistle—even more so than they already do. The Catalan club will likely be direct and threatening, and will be doing everything they can to get attempts on goal and get the ball into the box.
Which will suit Messi even more.
Considering that he's netted as many goals as he has with Barcelona sputtering both domestically and throughout Europe; imagine what he can do with the direct nature of Barca's attack in this one. It's almost a scary thought to consider, but Messi could be even more lethal for the La Liga leaders here than he has done in arguably any other game at all this season.
Can he lead the Spanish heavyweights back from the brink of defeat and somehow keep their Champions League fairytale alive in 2013? Or will the deficit and the defeat suffered back at the San Siro prove to be too much to overcome? Will Messi find his goal-scoring form again in Europe, or will his recent tear in La Liga fail to correlate with international success also?
They're all big questions and ones that we'll find the answers to soon enough, when Milan walk out at the Nou Camp and try to hold out Barcelona this week.
But either way—win or lose—Messi will be firing once more. The direct nature of Barca's attack suggests it, and his recent goal-scoring form confirms it.
Which could make for a very long 90 minutes if you're a Milan fan.
Will Lionel Messi score and bring Barcelona back against Milan?
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