If anyone can present an argument against Lionel Messi being the greatest player that ever lived, I’m all ears. The Argentinean football master won his fourth consecutive Ballon d’or last week, becoming the first player in history to do so, collecting a whopping 42% of all votes, almost 18% more than runner up, and legend in his own right, Cristiano Ronaldo. This comes only a week after being crowned the highest goal scorer of 2012, nailing a monstrous 91 goals, a new world record.
While a pile of accolades don’t normally seduce me, and arguments on best players in what is a team sport are contentious, the 25 year olds career has weaved its way through the dizzying heights of the football world and managed to leave a considerable stamp, well, everywhere.
His success while wearing Barcelona stripes is embarrassingly comprehensive, having won five La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey titles and 6 Supercopa de España titles. On the international club scene, he boasts three Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cup titles and two FIFA Club World Cup titles. He also picked up gold with the Argentinean side in the 2008 Olympics, at the humble age of 21.
…Club Footballer of the Year…
His individual awards include, but certainly aren’t limited to, FIFA Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year and a bundle of UEFA awards like the Best Player in Europe, Club Footballer of the Year, Champions League Top Goal Scorer, Final Man of the Match and Forward of the Year and Argentina’s prestigious Olimpia de Plata.
Nobody in the history of the game can boast a slate that thorough. So again, if someone can present a case on why this man isn’t the greatest player that ever lived, I’m all ears.