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Lionel Messi Scores Five Times for Barcelona Against Bayer Leverkusen, But Who Cares?

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Lionel Messi scored five against Bayer Leverkusen last night to become the first player in Champions League history to score said amount in a match.

For those with short memories, the Champions League is actually the European Cup - a competition which has been in existence since 1955. So actually, he isn't.

That myth, like the one that Barcelona invented football in 2009, conforms to the sycophancy which is afforded the blaugrana and the Barca-dominant Spanish national side.

If anything, he should be disappointed not to score a large number of goals against a side resigned to elimination and embarrassment before a ball had been kicked.

The Argentine is one of the greatest footballers ever and possesses amazing, god-given talent. Kudos to the little man also for making amends for being named after Lionel Ritchie.

However, must Twitter crash every time he scores against Spanish nonentities or European fodder? Eulogising him has become as tedious as talking about Carlos Tevezzzzzzzz.

Furthermore, he's not even the top scorer in Spain. And neither was he last season. Cristiano Ronaldo holds personal - and collective - dominance. Real Madrid are a whopping 10 points ahead of their Catalan nemesis.

And as outstanding as "the little flea" is, he is yet to have as great a campaign as Ronaldo did in 2007/08.

That season, the Manchester United attacker hit 42 goals and scored against every side he played against in all competitions, with the exception of Manchester City (against whom he was suspended for one game) and Barcelona (where he missed a penalty).

Four years ago the Premier League was fiercely competitive, whereas Spain now resembles a sunny Scottish Premier League (before Rangers went into administration). There is no debate as to which opponents were/are more competitive.

Messi too is the beneficiary of an amazing supporting cast. Ronaldo, on the other hand, was the talisman, the creator and the goalscorer for United. Carlos Tevez got closest to him in the scoring charts with 19 strikes.

Take Ronaldo out of that United side, they wouldn't have won the European Cup. Take Messi out of Barcelona, and the same can't be said.

So congratulations for eviscerating a side that beat Chelsea and are fifth in the Bundesliga.

Around the Web

Leo Messi :: Official Site ::

Lionel Messi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lionel Messi Bio, Stats, News - Football / Soccer - - ESPN Soccernet

Lionel Messi - Goal.com

Lionel Messi - Boy Genius - NYTimes.com

Lionel Messi - The 2011 TIME 100 - TIME