Found December 05, 2012 on Fox Soccer:
Messi
The blind pursuit of a contrived record may take the world's greatest player out of action for weeks. Lionel Messi was injured in an inconsequential match for Barcelona . What a nightmare. That's how Spanish outlets summed up the calamitous events in Barcelona, where Messi got entangled with Benfica goalkeeper Artur after entering the game in 58th minute and hurt his priceless left knee, forcing him off in the 88th minute. Injuries are inevitable. They're an occupational hazard. But they are preventable, however, when the player's services are not needed. Messi was only deployed for the sake of pursuing an obscure record, one that was hyped up because there was nothing left for the little genius to break. Messi has scored 84 goals in the 2012 calendar year - not the 2012-13 season, mind, for that would make it an actually meaningful record, since we measure soccer in seasons, not years - just one less than West Germany and Bayern Munich's Gerd Muller scored in 1972. After Wednesday's bout with Benfica, he had four games left to break the record, after a Copa del Rey game (which would have been his fifth) was postponed to the New Year. Yet in spite of Barcelona already being through to the UEFA Champions League knockout round and needing absolutely nothing from the Benfica game, he was inserted by manager Tito Vilanova for the mere sake of padding his goal tally in a meaningless game. It happens in all sports. Players on the brink of records, or in danger of falling below historical averages are played in games logic would deny them; or they're simply removed from games they should be a part of. Usually, everybody gets away with it, too. But when someone is injured like Messi was, it calls into question the sense of it all. Messi might still prove fine and his injury incapable of tethering him to this earthly existence. And all this will be written off as senseless speculation and so much panic. But the point stands all the same: what possible good could come of Messi playing in this game? His schedule is overcrowded as it is. He will be expected to play twice a week through May, at least. Given the perpetual and unrelenting onslaught on his legs, any respite is a blessing, no matter how much he despises sitting a game out. The record he is pursuing exists only because Messi, at 25, had already shattered every other scoring record known to man and new parameters were needed to frame his greatness against. And so the stats men dove into the archives and dug out a set of statistics that Messi didn't happen to stand atop of, and a new record was invented. When we run out of records, after all, there's no objective way of telling how good somebody is. And in our stats-driven sporting sphere, we lose interest when we cannot compare and contrast. And when interest is lost, merchandising and marketing opportunities are lost and the money stream quickly dries up. So it was important for Messi to break another record, however dubious its origins and historical validity. And it was important for Messi to play, consequences going unconsidered. Early word is that the injury isn't serious. If it is, however, and it prevents him from breaking the record he was brought onto the field to do, there will be a great irony in the matter. Like something out of a Greek tragedy, or Russian literature. And Messi - and his nonsensical would-be record - would simply be a victim of the machinery that makes him and what he does important. But that's okay. We'll just find another record to get excited about and look to another lamb to sacrifice in the service of our ever-shortening attention spans.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Lionel Messi’s Knee Injury Could Derail Goal Record Chase at Last Hurdle (Video)

Lionel Messi has a reputation for resisting the urge to dive or fake  injuries, which is why the world is holding its collective breath. The FC Barcelona superstar was carted off the field Wednesday after suffering a suspected knee injury. It comes as a major blow, as the Argentine forward is in hot pursuit of one of soccer’s most “untouchable” records. Messi suffered the...

Messi carted off with apparent knee injury

Lionel Messi was carried off on a stretcher with an apparent knee injury as Barcelona was held to a 0-0 tie by Benfica in a Champions League match on Wednesday night. With Barcelona already assured of advancing to the second round, Messi entered as a reserve in the 58th minute. The three-time FIFA Player of the Year collided with Benfica goalkeeper Artur in the 85th minute and was...

Messi on verge of goal record against Benfica

With Lionel Messi one goal from equaling Gerd Mueller's all-time record of 85 goals in a calendar year, Barcelona faces a decision on whether or not to rest the Argentine forward for Wednesday's Champions League match against Benfica. Messi is currently scoring at a rate of two goals per game, so the record could fall at the Camp Nou. But Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova could...

Messi feared knee injury was career threatening

Lionel Messi says that his injured knee feels much better despite fearing the worst when he collided with the goalkeeper during a Champions League match against Benfica. The Barcelona forward says he may miss Sunday's league match at Real Betis, but had originally thought his career was in jeopardy. Messi says ''I sincerely thought it was the last ball I would be touching...

Messi says injured knee feels better

Lionel Messi says that his injured knee feels much better despite fearing the worst when he collided with the goalkeeper during a Champions League match against Benfica. The Barcelona forward says he may miss Sunday's league match at Real Betis, but had originally thought his career might be in jeopardy. Messi says ''I sincerely thought it was the last ball I would...

Peerless Messi stays top of AP rankings

Edging closer to a world-record goal tally, Lionel Messi has retained his place at the top of the AP Global Football rankings this week. The Argentina forward was the overwhelming choice of best player by The Associated Press' panel of 19 global football journalists, earning 161 out of a possible 190 points after his two goals against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league. ...

Schuhbeck: Messi Does Everything So Easily

Esteemed chef Alfons Schuhbeck chats to FIFA.com about the highs and lows of cooking for Bayern Munich over the past 27 years, name his FIFA/FIFPro World XI, and explains why Lionel Messi is in a league of his own.

Kobe and Lionel Messi Star In Cool New ‘Turkish Airlines’ Ad

Just got wind of this new Turkish Airlines commercial from the guys over at The Nosebleeds, and we both agree it’s a pretty awesome spot. Watch as Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi pull out all the stops to win over a young fellow flight passenger, only to be upstaged by expected third-party. Article found on: Cosby Sweaters

From Romario To Messi: A History Of The Cwc

Some of the biggest stars of world football – from Romario to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – have taken part in the Club World Cup. FIFA.com takes a look back at the eight previous editions.

Kobe Bryant vs. Lionel Messi in Funny Turkish Airlines Commercial (Video)

You know you're an international superstar when you get thrown in the cage against the best soccer player in the world.  Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi go one on one with each other in this funny Turkish Airlines Commercial trying to give this kid their autograph.  Honestly this has nothing to do with the actual airline other than the fact that they are on a plane during the...

Special Feature: Football stars of 2012

It can be argued that the football stars of 2012 are amongst the best players of all time as they get professional training from a younger age than previous generations, sports science is advancing all the time and there is more money in the game meaning better facilities for those at the top. Footballing nations all over the world are producing players that can put in world class...

Casillas Wants Progress, Messi On The Mend

With Europe off the agenda until the new year, Iker Casillas is targeting progress in La Liga for Real Madrid – starting with Real Valladolid, while Lionel Messi is still unsure if he’ll be fit for Barcelona’s game with Real Betis.

Three Players, One Trophy: Who Deserves The Ballon d’Or?

The three Ballon D’Or 2012 finalists were finally revealed last week, and was anyone really surprised? I don’t think so. If you watch football, you obviously know Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo, and you also know that all of them would deserve to win the Ballon d’Or. The question that’s left to answer [...]

Video: Kobe Bryant’s new Turkish Airline commercial with soccer star Lionel Messi

Tweet Remember when Kobe Bryant was picking up all types of foreign endorsement deals a year or so back? Well here is his entertaining new ad for Turkish Airlines, featuring FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi: Bryant’s sense of humor and overall public appeal has come a long way over the years, no? -ALR
Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.