Lionel Messi had splendid 2018 for his darling La Liga side Barcelona and his native country Argentina.
In review, the 31-year-old scored 50 goals in 52 matches for club and country with his last for 2018 coming against Celta Vigo in a La Liga match played at Nou Camp.
The charismatic enigma has already shown his class in the new season with his eye-catching performance against Tottenham in the Champions League where he scored and provided two each.
In this current campaign alone, Messi has scored two or more goals per game seven times, registering once on just three occasions.
Going back to last season, the Barcelona forward scored 34 goals and provided 12 assists in La Liga making him the highest goal scorer for the 2017/18 season.
He scored his 600th career goal in March with a beautiful curling free-kick against Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.
The petite attacker also set a record with Barcelona with 49 matches unbeaten which was finally halted by the Levante during the penultimate game of last season where Barca lost by 5-4.
La Liga President Javier Tebas has suggested the annual player of the year award should be named after Messi because he does not think anyone has contributed into the competition like him.
“I don’t think anyone has contributed more to the competition. Messi will be the best in football history. He already is. “I’d love to have a La Liga award in his name,” Tebas said after Messi won his eighth out of ten awards.
This summer, Messi took over the captain's arm-band as the longest serving senior player after Andreas Iniesta left the club.
The No.10 is far from being an orator but Barca chiefs are surprised at his communication skills with referee during games.
Before the World Cup, Messi's suspension had to be reduced before their last match against Ecuador and they little man in the attack did not fail to impress as he scored a hat-trick that ensured Argentina's qualification.
His glorious goal against Nigeria also secured their passage into the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia, which was also voted one of the goals of the tournament.
However, Messi could not help Barcelona progress beyond the Champions League last eight when they lost 3-0 to Roma at the Stadio Olympico despite holding a 4-1 advantage from the first leg.
And his focus in 2019 will be winning Barcelona's first Champions League since 2015 as their captain at the time his fierciest rival Cristiano Ronaldo won it three times in a roll.
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