A Magnificent Year for Lionel Messi

Posted December 13th, 2012 at 3:02 pm (UTC-4)
3 comments

It’s been a magnificent year for Lionel Messi, the Barcelona and Argentina star who is a favorite to win his fourth FIFA Ballon d’Or award on January 7, 2013, a trophy given annually to the world’s best football player.

Messi scored both of Barcelona’s goals December 12 in a 2-0 road victory against Cordoba in the Copa del Rey tournament, an annual competition for Spanish

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona

clubs.

It raised his total for the year to a record 88 goals. On December 9, Messi scored twice against Real Betis to break Gerd Mueller’s record of 85 goals in a year for club and country, set in 1972.

The 67-year-old Mueller, nicknamed Der Bomber  for his prolific goalscoring during his playing days, paid tribute to Messi: “My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in 60 games – and now the best player in the world has broken it, and I’m delighted for him. He is an incredible player, gigantic.”

This gigantic and incredible year has been pulled off by a 1.69 meter tall (5 ft. 7 in.) superstar who was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a boy. Barcelona, aware of his prodigious talent, paid for his medical bills, a fact highlighted in this funny, animated video.
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Messi did not score a single goal, but he created multiple chances for teammates and, in the words of one World Cup blogger, was “desperately unlucky” in not finding the net. Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Germany, 4-0.

Messi and Argentina will have a short trip to neighboring Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, and I expect he’ll feel right at home on the world’s biggest football stage. Argentina, currently third in the FIFA world rankings behind Germany and #1 Spain, has to be considered a favorite for the title, so I won’t rule out Lionel Messi lifting that elusive World Cup trophy and sealing his status as the world’s greatest footballer.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

3 Responses to “A Magnificent Year for Lionel Messi”

  1. [...] and has a new …The IndependentESPN (blog) -NDTVall 194 news articles » Go to Source Posted in News [...]

  2. Ashenafi Abedje says:

    So Sonnyman, can we refer to Messi as a re-incarnation of Pele the great Brazilian??

  3. Sonny Young says:

    In fact, Ashenafi, during the December 14th edition of the Sonny Side of Sports show, African football analyst David Legge had this to say: “If Messi carries on like this, there’s always been this debate – was Pele the greatest? Was Maradona the greatest? But surely, at 25, if this continues, Messi is going to overtake them all.”

    And, if you’d like to debate David Legge, Ashenafi, drop him an email at:

    david.legge@afp.com

    And tell David Sonny sent ya! :-)

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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