Some players dream of scoring one goal, others dream of playing one game, while the thought of scoring 400 is almost out of the realms of all possibility.
Unless, your name is Lionel Messi.
Incredibly, his strike against Eibar has taken his stardom to a level only one other has been able to do in Europe’s top five leagues. His long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is the only other player to achieve this feat throughout his tenures at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus while the Argentinian sensation incredibly only trails by nine and has done it all with the one club.
Now to understand the magnitude of what Messi has been able to do is more remarkable when you look at the averages. Since debuting in 2004, Messi has averaged 0.92 goals a game in the league which is almost unmatched by any other player to have tallied the amount of games in which the Argentinian has featured in. Messi has also averaged almost 27 goals a season since his debut while taking into account he wasn’t a first team regular until the 2006/07 season. 96 of those goals came over two seasons between 2011 and 2013 where he took his stardom to another level.
However, the critics are still out regarding the credibility of these statistics due to doing it all in one league, and many questions wondering whether he can do it in other European leagues. It leaves the question among football fans and pundits – where to now for Messi?
The maestro has won nine La Liga titles and could very well make it ten in five months’ time and will also look to win his fifth UEFA Champions League crown in the process. But beyond this season, could Messi make a move abroad and follow in the footsteps of CR7 and look towards a move to the Premier League, Serie A or Ligue 1?
It all remains to be seen, but the legacy that Messi will leave on this game will only increase. At 31, he still has time to feature at another World Cup in 2022 along with achieving more continental and domestic success.
Expect the tally of 400 to only increase as his legacy grows.