One Reddit user has watched all 800 of Messi’s goals and decided on the five best
One Reddit user has done the lord’s work and watched the first 800 goals of Lionel Messi’s incredible career, rating each and every one of them. Spoiler alert: their findings reveal that Messi has scored a huge number of absolutely astonishing goals.
With an absolutely brilliant post entitled ‘I watched and graded all of Messi’s 800 goals to determine their average quality (and distract myself from my breakup)‘, Reddit user wetwetwet11 forensically analysed an almost two-hour YouTube video that features Messi’s first 800 goals – a milestone he reached with PSG earlier this year.
“Anecdotally, I felt (before doing this research) that Messi had scored many goals that no one else on the planet was or is capable of,” they explained.
“He also scores an obscene number of goals that would be the career highlight for the vast majority of footballers — to Messi, it’s just another tally mark.
“Anyways, maybe I’m having a manic episode, or maybe I’m just bored, but I decided to go through his (first) 800 goals, and try to categorize each one according to a subjective (but hopefully fair and transparent) rating system (1-5). Yes, this is an imperfect method. The goal: see if my perception of Messi’s goalscoring record matched reality. (I also couldn’t think of anything better to do to occupy my mind while I go through a breakup).”
The user went on to explain in detail the thinking behind every grade, citing various examples of the best and worst goals of Messi’s career and giving us statistical detail.
They go on to state that just 63 (7.8%) of Messi’s first 800 goals were graded one out of five – “tap-ins or fluke goals. A 1 is a goal you or I could probably score”.
Further explanation revealed that 296 (37%) were graded two out of five – pure striker’s finishes that Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland made their careers out of.
Level three is judged as the kind of goal that “makes Messi Messi” and would “would be featured prominently on 99.9% of players career highlight reel”. 232 (29%) of Messi’s goals received that mark, while 94 (11%) received grade four – “These are goals which would be difficult to score on any pitch, under any circumstances, never mind against the best competition the world has to offer.”
“Anyways, what did we learn that we didn’t already know? Probably not much. I did confirm my hunch that Messi has a ridiculously high average level of difficulty on his goals,” the user concluded.
“The average score that a non-penalty Messi goal received (a sample size of 690 goals) was 2.53, which means that his average goal was somewhere between a quality strikers finish and a goal that most can only dream of. As the average tells us, roughly HALF of Messi’s non-penalty goals are goals rated 3 or above. Absurd.
“I also learned that there are few better ways to distract yourself during a breakup than to watch and grade a 2 hour long video of Messi goals. And that whatever happens in this life, we are all blessed to have grown up watching this special man grace the pitch.”
Without further ado, here are the five goals that gave a perfect ‘Level 5’ score – in other words, “all-time classic goals which don’t need much explaining”.
The Maradona-esque miraculous solo goal that sealed Messi’s status as a superstar in the making, this goal was voted Barcelona’s greatest goal of all time in a 2019 poll.
This goal helped seal a 5-2 victory over Getafe in the Copa del Rey semi-finals at the Camp Nou. Incredibly, Getafe came back and won 4-0 in the second leg to reach the final at Barcelona’s expense.
G⚽️AL OF THE DAY
🐐 Nine years ago, Messi won his fourth Ballon d'Or pic.twitter.com/3D8mf8FceP
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 7, 2022
Real Madrid (2011)
The most ridiculous ‘assist’ of Sergio Busquets’ career, all the midfielder had to do was stop the ball dead and watch as Messi drove straight through the heart of Real Madrid’s backline.
This was when the rivalry between Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona and Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid was at its most fierce, and Messi’s second of their Champions League semi-final against Los Blancos.
It seems crazy that Messi was just 24 years old when Arsene Wenger declared him the greatest player of all time back in 2010. But it all makes sense when you look back on the moments that Messi was producing at the peak of his powers back then.
🔙 in #UCL 2⃣0⃣1⃣1⃣:
— UEFA.com DE (@UEFAcom_de) February 15, 2022
Athletic Bilbao (2013)
Arguably one of Messi’s more underrated goals, this was another brilliant piece of footwork followed by a devastatingly casual finish that prompted one of Ray Hudson’s most iconic lines of commentary:
“This man is absolutely mainline to pure footballing magic that belongs in a different galaxy altogether”
This Leo Messi goal vs Athletic Bilbao in 2013 is absolutely brilliant 🪄pic.twitter.com/sDKBxOTi0o
— Messi Arena (@MessiArena) December 20, 2021
Bayern Munich (2015)
“The Boateng goal is probably a level too high, but that goal was just such a bolt of lightning in the moment, and I remember watching it live and losing my mind, and this is my list, so its here,” wrote the Reddit user.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 6, 2020
Athletic Bilbao (2015)
The last five-star goal on the list was Messi’s stunning opener in the 2015 Copa del Rey final. Given where Messi originally picked up the ball, it’s a goal that’s been described as “scientifically impossible”.
Athletic Bilbao must’ve been sick to the back teeth of him.
May 30, 2015: Lionel Messi with the incredible wonder goal in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey Final.
— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) May 30, 2023