By Josh Powell | AC Milan v Barcelona
Cleaning up every individual award in world football. Breaking goal-scoring records left, right and centre at Barcelona. Making Cristiano Ronaldo cry into his pillow every night before he goes to sleep. Lionel Messi is a pretty busy man, and if our flawless logic is anything to go by he is going to get a lot busier.
Messi is regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever to play the game and has bagged 301 goals in 365 games for Barcelona. You’d be hard pushed to find anyone who didn’t think he was currently the best player in the world. Unless of course you lived next door to Ronaldo’s mum.
This season Messi has continued to blow our minds and improve his statistics, finding the onion bag 48 times in 36 games. That’s an average of 1.33 goals a game and is currently the best goal-scoring season of his career.
The worrying thing for every team he faces is that at this rate Messi will be scoring more than four goals a game in five years time.
Bear with us because there is some real-life maths behind this completely flawless claim. Since 2005 Messi’s number of goals per game has increased on average by 26 per cent year-on-year. He is currently banging in 1.33 goals a game this year so if he continues this rate of progress he will be scoring an impressive 2.67 goals a game in the 2015/16 season.
By the 2017/18 season he will be scoring 4.23 goals a game and if he plays 55 games in all competitions, we predict Messi will rack up a pretty unbelievable 232 goals.
That is probably 99 per cent inconceivable, but not completely unrealistic. He has scored four in a game before against Osasuna, Espanyol, Valencia and Arsenal, and notched up five in a demolition of Bayer Leverkusen last season.
That kind of scoring power on a regular basis is five years away though and tonight the world’s greatest player must focus on a trip to the San Siro to face AC Milan in the Champions League. Messi has faced Milan four times over his career scoring three goals and assisting two. In his 74 Champions League matches he has found the net 56 times and bagged 18 assists which isn’t too shabby.
Unsurprisingly Messi is the red-hot favourite to open the scoring this evening at 11/5. He is 11/8 to be the first Barcelona player to find the back of the net and 2/5 to get his name on the scoresheet at any time.