2018 was a mixed one for Lionel Messi. First putting up a no-show as AS Roma shockingly overturned a 4-1 first leg deficit with a 3-0 victory in the second leg to knock Barcelona out at the quarter-final stage of last season's Champions League which led to heavy criticism.
He then suffered the mother of all heartbreaks with his home nation as he captained a woeful Argentina team to the World Cup in a second round elimination, with his performance once again drawing ire from fans worldwide including his compatriot the great Diego Maradona.
Even though he led Barcelona to another domestic double of La Liga and Copa Del Rey, his failures at the aforementioned tournaments meant that a lot of people classified Messi's season as a failure.
The result was that Messi saw himself miss out on a podium finish in all trio of individual awards - the FIFA and UEFA Best as well as the Ballon d'Or which marked the first time this had happened in over a decade.
To make matters worse, the Argentine maestro also saw his status as an all-time great questioned by none other than Pele himself who made a lot of spurious allegations against Messi including that he could not score with his head, plays with only one foot and has just one skill.
As preposterous as Pele's claims and his exclusion from the podium were, Messi has largely remained silent over the issue, preferring to do his talking the only way he knows how - on the field, with the result being that the 31-year-old has begun this season in frightening form as though he is on a mission to silence his doubters and remind everyone of how good he is.
For all the talk of Messi having a poor year, 2018 was actually not that bad, as he still set the benchmark in a number of ways, setting the template for others to follow. In this piece, we would take a look at six records which the mercurial Argentine set in the year 2018.
#6 Winning the European Golden Boot for the fifth time
Last term, Lionel Messi led the way in terms of goals scored in La Liga, plundering 34 goals in 36 matches, which was 10 more than anyone else aged and was enough to hand him the Golden Boot in La Liga as well as lead Barcelona to the league title.
His 34 goals were also more than anyone else managed on the European continent, meaning that the Argentine record goalscorer was handed the European Golden Shoe for the fifth time in his career.
Remarkably, nobody else in history has managed more which further underlines how great a goalscorer Lionel Messi is.