Lionel Messi: 5 UEFA Champions League performances that prove he is the GOAT
Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini. A mesmeric footballer based on every parameter that could be used to judge him. There was a 16-year-old kid who stepped onto the pitch against Juventus who were then coached by Fabio Capello.
Such was the performance of the youngster that Capello asked Frank Rijkaard to loan him the player. Rijkaard's reaction to the question, a face that asked: "Are you mentally stable, Mr Capello?"
Spain standstill, the world watching, Real Madrid was on enemy territory against Barcelona. They led thrice in the game but cancelled out each and every time by a 19-year-old. "This is the game that is going to be remembered as the Lionel Messi match", said an ecstatic commentator.
Barcelona facing Chelsea in the biggest stage in Europe. An 18-year-old started in the game in the neon greens of Barcelona. Claude Makelele, John Terry, Asier Del Horno, all were grounded by the brilliance of the kid, who went on to hit the post in the game.
Messi this, Messi that, Magical, Magisterial, Mesmeric, everything we have been hearing for quite a long amount of time. When it comes to giving iconic football moments, this man is one of the best. Be it the 92nd-minute winner at Bernabeu with a black eye or a one-man show against Sevilla at Sanchez-Pizjuan, this man has done it all.
Lyon was given hope by Lucas Tousart's goal, they pressed forward in numbers but then this man decided that he had seen enough. He went on the dribble inside the box, feinted a shot, floored both Denayer and Marcelo, switched his foot and scored.
A piece of cake for him, 5 good touches is all it took. Then he came again, through the right half-space, dragging three defenders like a magnet, and then looping the ball across the box for Gerard Pique. If any other player does this, it is his game of the season, but for Lionel, it is just another day. It is normal.
Is Lionel Messi the GOAT without any arguments? We present you five performances of the diminutive Argentine in the Champions League which prove that he is the GOAT (Greatest of All-time):
#5 Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen, Round of 16, 2012
What was special about Lionel Messi's 2012? He broke Gerd Muller's record of most number of goals in a calendar year, which at that time was 86. Messi set the bar at 91 goals. In the Round of 16 of UEFA Champions League game, Bayer Leverkusen were the unlucky ones to draw Barcelona.
Lionel Messi scored not one, not two, neither three nor four, but five goals in the game. Five goals in a single game, a feat that not many have achieved in the game, and Messi did it in the UEFA Champions League. Perhaps one of the goals was a freebie for him as the keeper spilled the ball and Messi jumped in for the pieces, but every other goal was scored in superb fashion.
Messi chipped the keeper with his left foot to score the first one and with the right foot, with a defender pushing him wide of the goal, to score the third one. The second goal was profile Messi, cutting into the box, losing the man on his tail, dribbling right across three Leverkusen defenders and curling the ball in a small gap where neither the defenders nor the keeper was present.
The fifth goal that he scored was also a freebie for a player of his standards. With no defenders around and time with him, Messi had the easy task of finishing from outside the box.
A record that stands till day, the most number of goals in a single Champions League game.