After orchestrating Barcelona’s demolition of Manchester United in the Champions League final, there seems to be no limit to what Lionel Messi can achieve.
A third straight FIFA world player of the year award is surely heading the Argentina playmaker’s way after his staggering 53-goal season, but incredibly he is still just 23 and could have another decade at the top.
Messi’s return of one goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 win hardly reflected his impact at Wembley. Messi still has a boyish look about him and it was almost as if he was back being the most gifted boy in the playground, dancing around opponents as if they were not there.
The performance earned Messi the Man of the Match award and moved him another notch closer to the game’s all-time greats, Pele and fellow Argentine Diego Maradona.
“Messi is the best player I’ve seen and probably the best I ever will see,” said Barca manager Pep Guardiola.
Many people have called this Barcelona team the greatest club side of all time. That may be a little premature, considering Real Madrid’s all-conquering side of the 1950s, which won the first five European Cups, and the Ajax or Bayern Munich teams that won hat tricks of titles.
But there is little doubt that Barcelona can be the best — and that Messi has many more years left to win more honours.