The legendary Lionel Messi has a reputation for his virtuoso performances and data shows that he has objectively been the best player on the pitch in the majority of his games in recent years
Lionel Messi’s individual brilliance has been proven following the emergence of a staggering statistic about his displays in recent years (Image: Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
With Lionel Messi now expected to win an eighth Ballon d’Or, an unbelievable statistic has emerged showing that he has been named man-of-the-match in over half of his games in recent years.
The defining moment of the Argentine forward’s career may have come as he lifted the World Cup in Qatar but his performances have dazzled supporters for nearly two decades. With 819 goals and 44 trophies to his name, he is already the most decorated footballer of all time.
Now, the staggering consistency of his brilliance during his storied career has been writ large after the emergence of a surprising piece of data compiled by WhoScored.
Using Opta statistics, they have calculated that the legendary winger has won the man-of-the-match award on 345 occasions since 2009-10.
During that time, he has been instrumental for both club and country, winning various pieces of silverware. Even more astonishing is the fact that this means that he has been adjudged to have been the best player on the pitch in some 51.3 percent of his 673 games between then and now.
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Of course, the fact that he has been named the world’s foremost player on seven occasions means that none of his contributions have been overlooked. Even at the age of 36, he now appears likely to pick up the coveted Ballon d’Or for a record eighth time this year, according to Sport, with the winners list apparently leaked.
This potential latest individual prize comes after one of the standout years in Messi’s illustrious career, which saw him finally become a world champion. The one elusive honour from his collection, he produced a man-of-the-match display in the World Cup final against France to lift the trophy.
His contributions en route to the final in Lusail contributed towards him also picking up the Golden Ball, given to the tournament’s best player. As he dragged his Argentina teammates to a famous triumph, he scored seven goals and a penalty in the decisive shootout in the final.
Lionel Messi is tipped to win an eighth Ballon d’Or at the end of this month (Image: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)
Despite his chances of picking up yet another Ballon d’Or looking high before the ceremony on October 30, it would appear that Messi is apathetic about the prospect.
In fact, the Argentine icon spoke openly about the importance he places on collective achievements instead previously.
Speaking following his unveiling at Inter Miami, he admitted: “I have said it many times, the Ballon d’Or is very important due to the recognition at the individual level, but I never gave it importance. The most important thing for me was always the awards at the group level.
“I was lucky to have achieved everything in my career and after the World Cup, I’m thinking about that award much less, my biggest award was that and I’m disguising my moment. If it arrives, good, and if not, nothing happens. I was lucky to achieve all my goals in my career and now I have new goals with this club.”