European & La Liga golden shoe… Messi really deserves UEFA POTY

Lionel Messi has been nominated for the 2018/19 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.

Season in numbers
Achievements: Spanish Liga winner, Spanish Super Cup winner, Copa del Rey runner-up, UEFA Champions League top goalscorer, European Golden Shoe winner.

UEFA Champions League

Appearances: 10

Goals: 12

Assists: 3

UEFA Men’s Player of the Year nominee: Lionel Messi

Domestic league

Appearances: 34

Goals: 36

Assists: 15

Top three moments
1. Messi was quickly into his stride on UEFA Champions League matchday one, setting a competition record by scoring his eighth hat-trick in a 4-0 victory against PSV Eindhoven.

2. Became the first player to reach 400 league goals in one of Europe’s top five leagues when he struck against Eibar in January. He reached the landmark in only 435 matches.

3. Exactly 14 years to the day after scoring his first goal for Barcelona, Messi notched his 600th for the club with a sensational 30-meter free-kick in the 3-0 win against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.

What they say
Ernesto Valverde: “Messi reserves the first minutes of each match for interpretation. He takes a walk around the opposition defence, fixing each man’s position in his head. Then, as the game advances, he gets in little by little. But by now he knows perfectly where the rivals’ weaknesses are.”

Neymar: “At the moment when I needed the most support, the best player in the world arrived and gave me a hand. He said: ‘Come here, I’m here to help you.'”

Jordi Alba: “With Messi, as well as goals and assists, he creates play for you. He’s incredible. He’s unique. We’ll never find another player like him. Leo is unique in all facets of football.”