UEFA Champions League 2014/15 Round of 16 Second Leg Barcelona v Manchester City Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - 18 Mar 2015

Lionel Messi: The Best Ever?

“Well, well, well” you might say, sat in your living room with the radio on, “he’s done it again…”

The fact of the matter is that Lionel Messi, Barcelona and Argentina number 10, has won yet another Ballon d’Or. In fact, it’s his fifth. To put that into perspective, that is two more than the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane. But the ultimate question still remains: Is Messi the greatest football player the world has ever seen? Well…

Messi was born into a poor family in Rosario, Argentina on the 24th of June 1987. It was clear from a very age that he was a talented footballer, and at the age of just 4, he joined his father’s club, Grandoli. Then, at 6, Messi joined the club he had supported since he was a toddler, Newell’s Old Boys. In his 6 years at the club, he scored 500 goals and was part of the ‘Machine of 87′, the name given to the highly talented group of boys who made up Newell’s youth team. 87 refers to the year that they were born in. However, at 10, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone treatment, and sadly, Newell’s were not able to help pay for the treatment. So, Messi moved on again, this time to River Plate. But once again, the club couldn’t pay for Messi’s expensive and demanding treatment, and he only stayed on at the club for a few years. Then, in 2000, the Messi family made a decision. They were to try and get their son into the youth center at Barcelona, in Spain.

So, Messi joined Barcelona at the age of 13, and has been with the Catalan club ever since. He has progressed through the ranks, from the youth center all the way to the men’s first team. But that is not his greatest story. The fact that someone plays for Barcelona means they’re good, but Messi thought otherwise. Since joining the first team in 2004, Messi has basically rewritten all the club record books as well as lots of the overall football ones too. Here are just a few of his 100s of records: The most goals in a season (91), the most Ballon d’ Or’s won (5) and the all time record goals for Barcelona (440).

Those stats tell their own story, but now the final question: Is Messi the greatest ever?

Well, he is certainly up there with Pele, Zidane, Ronaldinho and C. Ronaldo, but is he better than them? They all have amazing records of their own, their own amazing stories to tell their children and grandchildren. But, in the end, isn’t it just about opinion? There will always be these questions when talking about the greatest ever, and people will always have their own, biased answers. Brazilians will say Pele, Argentinians will say Messi and the Portuguese will say Ronaldo. You can look into all the facts and stats surrounding these players, but the crucial decider is: who do you like best?

Comment down below who you think…


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