The debate over the world’s best soccer player is over. What we should really try to figure out is just how much better Lionel Messi is than the second-best. The diminutive Barcelona striker became the first to score five goals in a Champions League match in a 7-1 pasting of Bayer Leverkusen this afternoon.
Messi netted goals in the 25th, 42nd, 49th, 58th and 84th minutes, his incredible day growing in legend as the match went on. He was an equal-opportunity assassin, scoring on two chip shots, a low drive, a tap-in and a rocket from distance.
It was truly one of the best performances of a career that is well on its way to being the greatest ever.