There is no doubting Lionel Messi’s ability. He is heralded by many as being the finest player of our generation. His teammate Xavi said today "A player like him only comes around once every 50 years. In my view, Leo is now even better than Maradona was. He's going to be at the very top for many years to come, there's nobody like him.”
The performance that Messi put in on Saturday against Sevilla was nothing short of tremendous. However, that level of performance has became the norm for Messi and nothing more has been made of it. Two goal matches are almost expected of Messi now, given his form over the past few years.
Last season he struck 47 goals in 53 games, thus equalling the record set by Ronaldo in the 1996/97 season. I believe that given the improvements he has shown season upon season, he should now go on and break that record.
So far this season he has scored 14 goals in 12 appearances. That is by anyone’s standards a phenomenal return. That statistic gets even better when you see that when displayed as a goals per game stat, it means Leo has scored 1.16 goals every game—if my math is correct!
When that statistic is taken into consideration, it means that Messi—should he continue this form—will score a further 35 goals if he plays another 30 sets of 90 minutes. This would give him a total of 49 goals in 42 games.
However, even the biggest fan of Lionel Messi will admit that it is unlikely to happen. He is only human after all!
If Messi is to break the record set by Ronaldo, then he will have to replicate the goal-scoring form he has shown in the Champions League over the years. Since Pep has arrived at the club he has scored 17 in 24 games in the CL and if he top scores again, then he will become the first man in history to do so three seasons in a row.
I would argue that Messi is capable of that and much more. I would also argue that he will go on to become the best ever because the way he plays is reminiscent of both Maradona and Pele.
Messi seems to merge the best qualities of Maradona—dribbling, shooting and individual ability—and Pele—teamwork, all-round ability and goal scoring prowess. For me, he is a near-perfect player.
He currently stands on 95 La Liga goals, 100 behind Cesar Rodriguez who holds the record, 31 goals in international competitions—the joint highest in Barca history—and 141 overall and fifth on the all-time Barcelona goal-scoring list. I believe that injury permitting, he could break all those records and maybe even the all-time appearance record held by Migueli but soon to be beaten by Xavi.
Lionel Messi though has never let his talents go to his head and believe that there is always room for improvement in his own game and when asked about his own goals in his career he still thinks of the team: "I just want to ...... become a better player and hope to win a couple of titles with a good team, and that's about it."