Messi the Magnificent

Lionel Messi bagged a brace on Tuesday night.
Lionel Messi bagged a brace on Tuesday night. / EP

  • The Argentinian's display against Manchester United on Tuesday showed that no entrance fee is too high to witness his majesty

He could well have ended Phil Jones' top-level career, Fred was frazzled, and David de Gea looked like the kid forced to go in goal because he is lanky. Manchester United were the latest victims of the greatest footballer who has ever walked this planet.

It makes a mockery of the English fans who complained about the prices to see the match at the Camp Nou. Any game starring Lionel Messi should have a premium payment.

What would you pay to see Pelé in his prime, George Best at his most dazzling or the Johan Cruyff ballet?

It also makes a mockery of the pretentious fools who voted the Argentinian as the fifth best player in the world at the Ballon d'Or awards of 2018.

Messi's actions speak louder than any words we can find to describe his unique natural talent; numbers illustrate his achievements better than language.

This season alone, he's scored 46 goals in 44 games and assisted in 17 others for Barcelona. His career total is now 597 goals in 679 club matches. There never has and never will be anything like him.

Ronaldo is up there. He's possibly the best scorer of goals and he's carrying Juventus like he used to carry Real Madrid, but Messi is something else.

Bear in mind that when he started he was the supporting act to Ronaldinho. He's the only player to take top-billing from Zlatan Ibrahimović; Samuel Eto'o wisely vacated the stage when Messi fully flourished.

I'd argue that now, at the age of 31, he is peaking. We thought it couldn't get better than the 'MSN' era: Messi, Suárez, Neymar could be the greatest front three ever.

Now Messi is doing it without the distraction to defenders from Neymar and Luis Suárez is a little less mobile than he used to be.

Don't be like the United fans; pay what you need to pay to see him while you can. What you will discover is that the ball boys often have a more impressive heat map than Messi for the first ten minutes. He patrols the park, assessing the opposition, mind clicking like a safe cracker and then it's dynamite. He left Old Trafford with a bloodied nose. Manchester United departed Messi's manor mortally wounded.

The English joke is that he couldn't do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke. He's never faced Stoke City as they're not a top English club... To get an audience with Messi you have to be in the Champions League. Against the English elite he's scored 24 goals in 32 games.

Next up Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk, arguably the best defender in the world right now. If the big Dutchman stops Messi scoring, the argument is over.

Whatever they charge, the ticket is golden. Nobody will argue about the price of the ticket if they are fortunate to get one.