If you are to believe Eric Cantona, football is not a game defined by science or numbers but is an art. No player is a better example for the great Frenchman's eccentric views than Lionel Messi.
Although his brilliance on the field of play is undoubtedly artistic, Messi is also proving himself to be the greatest of all time through numbers too. In Saturday's game, the little Argentine scored his 300th and 301st goal for Barcelona- reaching another milestone at just 25 years of age.
Below we take a look at 5 of the most impressive record set by Messi in his short career.
Scored in Most Consecutive La Liga Games
Along with reaching the humungous milestone previously mentioned on Saturday, Messi also extended the record for most consecutive games on the scoresheet in La Liga. His record currently stands at 14 and the world will be looking with baited breath to see how long the Argentine can continue scoring. Could he reach 20?
Most goals scored in a single calender year
It must have seemed for many football fans that Christmas was hardly in the news at the end of last year, as all we could read or hear about was the gigantic milestone Messi set. Lionel eclipsed Gerd Muller's long-standing record of 85 goals in a single calander year, by finishing his tally for 2012 at 91.
Most goals in a Champions League Game
On March 7 2012 Barcelona mangaged to beat Bayer Leverkusen 7 - 1 at the Champions League knock-out stages. Messi contributed heavily to his beloved teams spectacular victory- he smashed the record for most goals scored in a Champions League game by one player, by netting 5 goals.
Most Hat-Tricks in La Liga History
Along with holding this record with an amazing 16, Messi holds a few more records concerning hat-tricks. In the 2011/2012 season, he smashed the record of most hat-tricks in one La Liga season- his grand tally was 8. Along with this, he holds the record for the quickest hat-trick scored by a Barcelona player in a La Liga game- scoring three within 30 minutes against Mallorca.
Four Consecutive Ballon d'Ors
Probably his most impressive achievement of all of them concerns no goals. The South American became the only player to secure four consecutive Ballon d'Or trophies in history, late last year. No other player throughout history has been able to keep to the high levels of consistency that Lionel has.
Can anyone argue that he is the greatest player of all time?