Why Lionel Messi Has the Most Dangerous Leg in World Football

Christopher Impiglia@@impigliatoFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 05:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona goes past Javier Chica of Real Betis during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis Balompie at Camp Nou on May 5, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has no equal on the pitch, especially when wearing the blaugrana of Barcelona. But what makes his leg(s) the most dangerous? Let's start from the top.    

Now there could be several distinct interpretations of the most dangerous leg in world football. First off, there is the physical danger a footballer's leg can pose. 

Alberto Aquilani's right boot certainly packs a punch, to which a fan named Denzel Westenberg can attest. In a match against England, Aquilani launched a free-kick which ricocheted off the crossbar and shattered the boy's wrist. 

Check that video out here.

In similar circumstances, Wayne Rooney managed to break 9-year-old Jamie Thomas' wrist in a warmup against Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Meanwhile, there is Daniel Van Buyten, who succeeded to somehow burst a ball in a free-kick against FC Koln. I can't imagine if that particular strike had hit a fan like Denzel or Jamie. It probably would have taken their entire hand off. 

Take away the ball, we next have the less graceful tacklers of the game like Paul Scholes, Mark Van Bommel or Vinnie Jones. Daniele De Rossi's tattoo (courtesy of The Sun) is a pretty accurate assessment of what can happen when encountering these midfield bruisers. 

And who can forget the danger posed by the legs of Eric Cantona or Nigel de Jong in these great feats of genius? 

Ultimately, however, a team's "danger man" should not be the one with the greatest potential to break an opponent's ankle, leg or face. It's this player's ability to conjure up dribbling skills, thread passes that open up defenses, and of course, score goals that gives them the most dangerous leg. 

I could go on and on listing football's recent and current greats who fit into this vein. Immediately coming into mind are both feet of Andrea Pirlo, Francesco Totti, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta and Xavi. And let's not forget the left boots of Arjen Robben and Gareth Bale. 

But if I had to pick one leg that was the most dangerous of all, it can be none other than the left leg of Lionel Messi. 

Big surprise, no? 

But the stats can't be challenged. I don't even need to list them all here. We all know it well enough: Messi is a goal-scoring, dribbling maestro. He even managed 12 assists in La Liga this year, not far from Iniesta's 16 and greater than Xavi's eight.

And although capable of scoring in any way, his left leg has been especially devastating. In a study conducted by Sporting Intelligence in March 2012, of Messi's 234 career goals for Barcelona, 185 were scored with his left foot, or 79.06 percent (I would love to see similar stats for Robben and Bale. Have they ever scored with their right foot?).

And, just to emphasize my point, no other footballer has had their foot cast in pure gold. Thank you Japan. 

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