Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 4/8/13
Lionel Messi may seem like a machine on the soccer pitch but when it comes to facing Japanese technology, the world's greatest soccer player is merely human. The Barcelona striker has been nearly unstoppable this season — as his 57 goals will attest — but Japanese computer geeks have come up with a goalkeeping robot that can apparently stop Messi in his tracks. Messi took on the mechanized man on a game show broadcast on Japanese TV this weekend and couldn't wipe the wide smile off the bot's face. The Argentine scoring machine took three penalty shots at the grinning goalie and was stuffed two times before the 82 mph kick on his third try deflected off the goalies hands and bounced into the net. In Messi's — and Mankind's — defense, the first spot kick seemed to be wide and his second attempt hit the upright. Still, managers in La Liga would love to know this robot's secret of intimidation. Artificial Intelligence 1.  Human race 0. And the Apocalypse begins.
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