After a phenomenal year, especially with the Argentina national team, Lionel Messi, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has won the Ballon d'Or 2021, making it to the seventh heaven.
While the near-impossible number of the prestigious award speaks highly of his greatness, Lionel Messi has reached many other great milestones over the years.
Some milestones have been achieved in the recent past, while some are the collective results of the best seasons in his career. It is the combination of all the following awards and milestones which makes the height that Lionel Messi has reached, unreachable.
6 European Golden Shoes
The Argentine legend has added 6 European Golden Shoes to his name over the years. He won the prestigious landmark in the years 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Nobody else in the history of football has won the award as many times as Messi has, and he has been one of the greatest goalscorers of all time.
Unsurprisingly, he is also the scorer of the highest number of goals in a calendar year as he scored 91 goals in the year 2012.
Throughout the decade of the 2010s, Lionel Messi scored the highest number of official long-distance goals and free-kick goals in addition to his trademark dribbling run finishes.
4 IFFHS World's Best Playmaker Awards
From a player with a goal-scoring ratio as great as Messi's, playmaking on a regular basis is almost never expected. But in Messi's case, there are no boundaries for the term 'expectations.’
The man who won the record number of European Golden Shoe also has the joint-highest number of IFFHS World's Best Playmaker Awards to his name.
In the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019, he achieved the award which explains his increase of focus on playmaking since 2015.
In fact, in the season 2019/20, Messi registered the highest number of assists (21) in a season by any footballer in the history of the top 5 European Leagues. The milestone is not a surprising one at all for someone who has the highest number of assists in the history of the game.
The Achievements with the Blue and White
By the year 2019, Lionel Messi had reached the untouched greatness of 6 Ballon d'Or awards, 6 European Golden Shoes and 4 IFFHS World's Best Playmaker Awards.
In each of the three separate categories, nobody could have achieved what he had, but there was just one stain of dirt in his career. The Argentine legend had lost 4 finals, including a World Cup final.
In spite of having a mentionable contribution in most of the editions of the international tournament runs and having won the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in 2014, his leadership and adaptability were being questioned even after 2019.
The win for Argentina in the Copa America 2021 final not only opened the door for a possible 7th Ballon d'Or for Messi it also proved the fact that Messi, as a leader, can win big things for his national team.
What made it even more special was his series of achievements in the tournament. He was the highest scorer, the highest assist provider, the player with the highest number of dribbles and key passes and above all, the Golden Ball winner.
However, Messi still desires to win the FIFA World Cup, his ultimate dream with Argentina national team. But what he has achieved in each of the four terms - Ballon d'Or awards, European Golden Shoe awards, IFFHS World's Best Playmaker awards and the international tournament awards, would be a dream for any footballer.