Whether you love him or hate him, every football supporter is a fan of Lionel Messi in their own way. When he retires from playing football, Only people will look back on his career in the same way that millions have done with Diego Maradona and Pele.
We don’t know whether he’s now reached the peak of his powers or whether he’s set to get even better, but everyone should try and make the pilgrimage to the Camp Nou to see him play before he does call it a day.
The Argentine is so supremely talented that all the hatred for him is brought about in some way by a form of jealousy. Everyone wishes he played for their side or represented their country, and there is nothing wrong with feeling envious that Barcelona and Argentina have that pleasure.
But while he continues to set such high standards, break all the records and win every accolade there is except major international tournaments with Argentina, there will be those that dislike him for these very reasons.
Here we take a look at 20 of his best records in his glorious career for both Argentina and his club Barcelona.
20. The only player in history to score 40+ club goals in 7 consecutive seasons, achieved this feat from 2009–10 season to 2015–16 campaign ( 47, 53, 73, 60, 41,58, 41 )
19. Most FIFA Ballon d’Or awards: 5, with other players having won it three times: Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane and Ronaldo.
18.Only player to score in 6 different club competitions twice: 2011 and 2015
17. Most appearances in the top 3 candidates for the Ballon d’Or: 9 times(2007-2015)
16. Guinness World Records title for the most official goals in a calendar year: 91 goals (2012)
15.Most consecutive league matches scored in: 21 matches (33 goals)
14. First footballer ever to score consecutively against all teams in a professional league
13. Youngest player to win 3 Ballon d’Or awards: 24 years, 6 months and 17 days.
12.Most FIFA Club World Cup Golden Balls: 2 (2009, 2011)
11. All time Barcelona top scorer in all games: 518 goals
10. Only player to have scored and assisted in 6 different official competitions in one season (Copa del Rey, La Liga, UEFA Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup, completed on 12 January 2012)
9.Only footballer to score 60+ goals in all competitions in 2 consecutive seasons (2011/12 and 2012/13)
8. Most goals scored against a single opponent in the Champions League 9 goals against Arsenal.
7. Fastest player ever to reach 300 league goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues (334 games)
6. Youngest player to reach 100 appearances in the Champions League
5. Youngest player ever to score 400+ goals for a single European club (27 years and 300 days)
4. Most league goals scored in a season in Europe’s top 5 leagues: 50 goals
3. Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 55 goals, a record he broke vs. the United States in the Copa America semifinal.
2. Only player to finish Champions League top scorer in 4 consecutive seasons (2008/09 – 2011/12).
1.Only player to win the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player, Pichichi trophy and Golden Boot in same season: 2009/10.