A 5 star display against Leverkusen last night made Barcelona forward Lionel Messi the first ever player to score 5 goals in a single Champions League match. Thanks to last night’s display, Messi is assured of winning the tournament’s golden boot as his tally this far is 12 goals.
Having previously equaled the record of legends Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Marco van Basten and Simone Inzaghi back in the 2009/2010 season when he scored 4 goals against Arsenal.
However, it gets better for Messi. The Argentine forward has now matched Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of 12 goals in one Champions League season that he set in the 2002/2003 season. Moreover, at only 24 years old, Messi is currently only 8 goals away from becoming Barcelona’s all-time leading top goal scorer.
After the epic performance, Barca coach Pep Guardiola was all praise for Messi calling him one of the world’s best player’s.
“I’m lucky to coach and manage this player,” Guardiola said.
“He is the best. There’s no-one else. He is a unique player because of his innate talent and also for his competitiveness. We will not see another player like Messi. It’s not easy to score five goals, and one day he will score six.”
“We are very fortunate to have a player like this. We can only enjoy him and this team.”
So after last night’s performance attention shifts to Messi’s arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo. I cannot even begin to image the pressure he is under(if indeed there is any).
Not only will the pundits be waiting for a similar performance when they take to the pitch next week against CSKA Moscow, but many will also be looking to justify that Ronaldo though a good player, is simply not good enough when compared with Messi.
Personally, i think this debate should just end. Both players are fantastic. If its scoring goals, both have proved that they can do it. In fact, they actually compliment themselves. I highly doubt whether Messi would have been this competitive had Ronaldo not made the switch to Madrid. However, this is just my two cents. The fact of the matter is that with 5 matches still left in the competition, Messi could smash his own record.
Photo Credit © Emilly Leung