Lionel Messi was somewhere close to his scintillating best in Paris Saint-Germain’s crucial 3-1 win over Lens.
The Argentine scored the team’s third goal just before the half-time break, combining magnificently with fellow scorer Kylian Mbappe.
PSG have moved nine points clear of second-placed Lens and look certain to lift the Ligue 1 trophy once again in May.
But back to Messi, and he has now netted 495 goals in Europe’s top five leagues, more than any other footballer in history.
The 35-year-old also has 20 goals for PSG across all competitions this season, as well as 18 assists to boot.
He’s maintaining the red-hot form he showed with Argentina at the 2022 World Cup, where the seven-time Ballon d’Or won the prestigious Golden Ball award.
And before kick-off at the Parc des Princes on Saturday evening, one supporter was keen to remind Messi of his ‘world champion’ status.
During the warm-up, the person shouted at the PSG superstar: “Go ahead, world champion!”
Messi’s reaction has gone viral on social media…
No olvidemos que tenemos la OBLIGACIÓN de recordarle a Messi que es campeón del mundo siempre.pic.twitter.com/dFTdOjryhe
— Messismo (@Messismo10) April 15, 2023
Messi’s smile when a fan called him the World Champion 🐐🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/0GOBBPDsxx
— MC (@CrewsMat10) April 15, 2023
Has anything in Messi’s career made him happier than winning the 2022 World Cup out in Qatar? Absolutely not.
It was the moment many believe he completed football – and from a more personal perspective, the moment he emulated his idol, Diego Armando Maradona.
Messi’s triumph with Argentina on the biggest sporting stage of all will also likely see him win the Ballon d’Or for a record extending eighth time.
PerSky Bet, Messi is currently 1/3 to lift the coveted accolade at the ceremony in Paris later this year.
Manchester City’s goal machine Erling Braut Haaland is listed as the second favourite at odds of 5/2.
But if the Norwegian helps the Citizens win a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble (which is certainly on the cards), Messi’s individual victory will be far from guaranteed.
Making up the rest of the top five in the 2023 Ballon d’Or race are Karim Benzema (20/1), Mbappe (22/1) and Marcus Rashford (25/1).