Bleacher report which is an American sports website has recently published a report on a footballer who has been grabbing all the headlines. So maybe you’ve heard of this guy Lionel Messi. Not a bad footballer, that one. And not a bad 2012 for the 25-year-old from Rosario, Argentina.
During the calendar year, Leo scored a record 91 goals combined in all competitions for Barcelona and the Argentina national side, shattering the mark of 85 tallied by GerdMuller for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Though he had already bested Muller’s mark (and many others) early in December, young Leo finished his 2012 this past Saturday with a brilliant goal in Barcelona’s 3-1 victory at Valladolid, a delightful build up and finish best summed up by Ray Hudson’s “magisterial” call on beIN Sport.
Now, Messi’s club side may have had a relatively underwhelming end to the 2011-12 campaign, finishing a disappointing second to Real Madrid in La Liga and falling to Chelsea in the semifinals of the Champions League. Many people believe that the goals he has scored over 2012 has not come to any meaning or worth as it has not won him or his club and country any major competitions. Messi being in contention for the Ballon Do’r for the fourth year running will have to face his fellow team mate Andres Iniesta who has had an excellent year with spain winning the Euros and also Messi’s classic Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid who helped his team win La Liga and also Super Copa. Madrid’s coach Jose Mourinho believes for these reasons Messi should not be handed the most prestigious award for any footballer for the record 4th time in a row. But Messi neither underwhelmed nor disappointed.
But I didn’t realize quite how ridiculous Messi’s year was until I broke down the numbers. To start, Messi’s 91 goals upped Muller’s record by about seven percent.
Leo scored 91 total goals in 69 official games, 79 in 60 appearances for the Blaugrana and 12 in nine matches for the Albiceleste.
The math is easy enough; that’s an average of 1.319 goals per game. While it’s not quite up to Muller’s average of 1.417 (85 goals in 60 matches) back in ’72.
Messi’s tally of 91 goals in 69 matches, though, gets more impressive when you look at it under several other lights.
According to ESPN FC’s count of Messi’s playing time in 2012, that’s an average of one goal every 66 minutes he was on the pitch. If you consider that Racing Santander— the entire team of Racing Santander —scored just 28 goals in 38 La Liga games in 2011-12 for an average of 0.737 goals a game and one goal every 122 minutes, you realize what a ridiculous number Messi’s total is.
In short, 2012 has been a year for the ages for Lionel Messi and for soccer in general. The amazing thing is that at age 25, the fair-faced Argentine might just be getting started.