Lionel Messi dropped five goals on Bayer Leverkusen, cementing an already self-evident Champions League second leg in Barcelona’s 7-1 win. The breadth of his dominance is excessive. The consistency of it is inhuman.
He’s the first player in the Champions League era to score five goals in a match. He’s the first in any European Cup era to score five since 1980. He’s the first to do it against a reasonable opponent in a latter round.
That’s now 49 career Champions League goals for Messi, passing Andrei Shevchenko for third all-time. He now has 228 career goals in all competitions, leaving him just seven away from Cesar’s Barcelona record 235. Hearing those numbers necessitates this reminder. He’s only 24!
[Photo via Getty]