Lionel Messi and his 86 goals (Video)

Last Wednesday, the footballing world collectively held their breath. Lionel Messi was named as a substitute during Barcelona’s final Champions League group game against Benfica. After coming on in the second half, the Argentine collided with Artur in the 85th minute.

The stretcher came up and left with the footballing star atop to the silence of the Camp Nou. The 25-year-old at the time was one goal away from matching Gerd Muller’s record 85 goals in a calendar year. Twitter went into meltdown – was he going to break it?

Come Sunday night, fans fears were allayed. Messi was named in the starting XI to face Real Betis. 25 minutes later, the front-man had made history. 86 goals in a calendar year is an impressive feat, even for those that argue the quality of the football in Spain isn’t as competitive as it is across Europe.

Nevertheless, for a player arguably dubbed the best in the world, it’s an extraordinary record to possess. Messi, however, as modest as always, responded with “Cordoba” when quizzed as to what the next challenge would be after the encounter.

It’s this endearing quality that see’s fans really take him to heart, perhaps more so than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Either way, when his second goal was scored in the 2-1 win over Betis, fans couldn’t help but applaud and congratulate the pint-sized schemer who continues to impress, even if some have witnessed him perform every trick in the book.