Lionel Messi’s 2012 makes for one of the most remarkable peaks that sport has ever seen.
Regardless of whether or not you think Messi is the GOAT of men’s football, there’s simply no arguing that his form throughout the calendar year of 2012 was up there with some of the greatest performance levels that sport has ever seen.
The headline statistic is, of course, that Messi scored a breath-taking 91 goals that year in order to surpass the previous world record held by Gerd Muller.
What record did Messi break in 2012?
And give or take the record potentially having another claimant in the form of Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu, it’s a statistic that will forever be associated with the Paris Saint-Germain star and his legacy in the game.
However, we can’t allow a decade having passed since Messi secured that most head-spinning of feats to make us forget exactly what was involved in scoring that many goals.
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While that might seem like an obvious statement, it’s one thing to reel off ‘Messi scored 91 goals in 2012’ and another thing to actually stop, pause and digest what that actually entails.
And what it entailed, for the record, was Messi scoring in pretty much every single game he played for Barcelona and Argentina to the point that everybody watching was simply blown away.
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How many goals did Messi score in 2012?
In fact, when it came to Messi scoring his 91st and final goal of the year, things had become so unbelievable that it produced some of the greatest football commentary that we’ve ever heard.
It came in Barcelona’s final La Liga game of 2012/13 before the winter break, making the trip to Real Valladolid on December 22 for what marked Messi’s final chance to build upon the world record he’d already established over Muller.
And build upon it he did, scoring a fine individual effort in a 3-1 victory that also saw Xavi and Cristian Tello find the back of the net, while Javi Guerra pulled one back for the hosts.
Naturally, it was a goal that inspired the lead commentator on the night to reel off a number of statistics that Messi had set in the process of elevating himself to a barely believable 91 strikes.
VALLADOLID, SPAIN – DECEMBER 22: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga game between Real Valladolid and FC Barcelona at Jose Zorrilla on December 22, 2012 in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
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What did the commentators say about Messi?
As the game restarted again, they narrated: “Lionel Messi could be on the verge of another brace heading into the holiday season. 26 for the season in the league. 91 for the year…”
But that’s not the legendary commentary that we’re referring to, oh no, because it was the second-in-command in the gantry who then interrupted his colleague mid-flow to produce some absolute gold.
Passionately declaring: “It’s not the statistics!” before breaking into a fantastic monologue about Messi’s genius, none other than the great Ray Hudson himself marked Messi’s historic night with some of his greatest every commentary on the Barcelona icon.
It’s not often you hear one broadcaster deliberately interrupting the other, but Hudson just couldn’t hold in what makes for a spine-tingling monologue that you can check out for yourselves right here.
Video: Ray Hudson’s epic reaction to Messi’s 91st goal
🗣️ Ray Hudson with one of the best pieces of commentary regarding Lionel Messi.
“IT’S NOT THE STATISTICS!” 📊 pic.twitter.com/z3RupoUp2h
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) November 10, 2022
Goosebumps all over.
And he’s spot on, isn’t he? At the end of the day, the statistics are what gives a language to just how incredible Messi is, but it’s the magic of the way that he plays the sport that gives you the visceral, guttural reaction that you just can’t manufacture.
What did Messi accomplish in 2012?
All in all, Messi’s record for 2012 finished up at a mind-boggling 91 strikes and 22 assists in just 69 appearances, averaging a goal every 66 minutes and a goal contribution every 53 minutes.
Seventy-nine of the goals came in club football with his beloved Barcelona and the remaining 12 efforts, amassed over the course of just nine caps, came on Argentina duties.
VALLADOLID, SPAIN – DECEMBER 22: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga game between Real Valladolid and FC Barcelona at Jose Zorrilla on December 22, 2012 in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
For context, Cristiano Ronaldo – who still had a frankly astonishing year himself – found the back of the net 63 times in 2012 from 71 appearances and also chipped in with 11 assists for good measure.
Nevertheless, in the words of Mr. Hudson: it’s not the statistics, it’s not the statistics…
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