A phenomenon. A magician. The greatest.
The last one remains a matter of opinion, but there can be no arguing that Lionel Messi is not one of the greatest footballers to play the game.
The forward, 36, won his eighth Ballon d’Or – three more than any other player – on Monday and continues to set records that may never be broken.
Messi guided Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December before ending his 20-year career in European football with Barcelona to join Major League Soccer franchise Inter Miami in America in July.
As he continues to shine – for club and country – we look at some of the milestones and records Messi has set over the years.
Most Ballon d’Or awards – eight
It was no surprise when Messi was announced as the men’s Ballon d’Or winner, the award for the best footballer in the world for the 2022-23 season.
His inspirational role in helping Argentina win the World Cup for the first time since 1986 almost guaranteed he would extend his record of award wins to eight – despite the best efforts of prolific Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.
Cristiano Ronaldo, now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia, is Messi’s closest rival with five, but, aged 38 and not even nominated in the 30-man shortlist, it is hard to see the Portugal forward challenging Messi’s haul.
Such is Messi and Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or domination, the only other two previous winners still playing are Croatia’s Luka Modric and France’s Karim Benzema. With both well into their 30s, they do not stand a chance of getting near the record.
Haaland, Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham, Real and Brazil forward Vinicius Jr and even Bayern Munich and England striker Harry Kane will fancy their chances of being in the mix in future, but it will be a long time before anyone gets near Messi.
Most goals in a La Liga season – 50
It is impossible to say when this impressive scoring feat will be broken, but history suggests it might be some time.
Messi’s 50 goals in 37 appearances for Barcelona in 2011-12 is not only a La Liga record, but it is also the most in a season by any player in one of Europe’s top five leagues since the formation of the Premier League in 1992-93.
Since La Liga’s formation in 1929, only three players have even hit 40 goals. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo managed it twice and Luis Suarez did so seven years ago – the last time the mark was reached.
Most goals in all competitions in a season – 73
This tally seems insurmountable.
In that record-breaking 2011-12 season Messi scored 73 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and no-one has got close since.
Haaland broke all sorts of records in his debut Premier League campaign last season, but, despite seemingly scoring every week, he finished the season with 52 goals – 21 short of Messi’s phenomenal effort.
Even Everton great Dixie Dean is 10 short, hitting an amazing 63 goals in 1927-28 – an English top-flight record that has stood for 95 years.
Most Champions League goals for one club – 120
Messi looks like falling short of the record as Champions League top scorer. He is in second – 11 goals short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 140 – with both probably having played their last game in the competition.
But Messi’s 120 goals for Barcelona is the most a player has scored for one club in the competition.
Ronaldo’s 105 for Real Madrid is the next highest, with Karim Benzema’s 78 for Real a distant third.
With players remaining loyal to one club fairly rare in the modern game, it is difficult to see who could match Messi’s feat any time soon.
Most goals for Argentina – 106
Messi is Argentina’s record scorer by a country mile – and he is still going.
In an international career that started in 2005, he has scored 48 more goals than previous record holder Gabriel Batistuta and 63 more than third-placed Sergio Aguero.
With Messi still adding to his tally and his two closest rivals retired, it is going to be a long time – if ever – before anyone gets close to his Argentina record.
2026 WCQ : “We have huge respect for Comoros” – Chris Hughton
Black Stars Head Coach, Chris Hughton says the results in the past against Comoros have zero significance on the game later today [November 21] at the OmniSports Stadium in Moroni in the ongoing 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Hughton’s assertion comes on the back of the last meeting between the two countries where Ghana got kicked out from the 2021 AFCON held in Cameroon following a 3-2 defeat to Comoros in the final group.
In his pre-match press conference, Hughton reiterated the team’s desire to win the game against Comoros and further expressed the team’s readiness to clinch all three points.
We have big respect for Comoros, they are a good team, but the results in the past have no significance.
It’s about the present, not the past.
I think as a football nation, they have come a long way, they have made very big steps and i congratulate them on that.
For now our preparations are not for the World Cup or the AFCON but it is for the game against Comoros. It is one game at a time.
The Black Stars of Ghana can go top of Group I with a win against Comoros in the second group game against the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Hughton’s men head into the clash with 3 points from the first group game against Madagascar at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
It will be the fourth meeting between the two countries after they last met in the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.
For the FIFA World Cup qualifiers – this will be the second time the Black Stars will face Comoros.
The first leg of the 2015 FIFA World Cup qualifiers was played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi under former Coach Avram Grant.
Bofoakwa Tano handed temporary home ban by GFA
The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association has ordered a temporary ban on Bofoakwa Tano FC from using the Sunyani Coronation Park as its home venue with immediate effect.
This decision has become necessary due to the unfortunate incidents after the Match Day 11 match between Bofoakwa Tano FC and Nsoatreman FC played on November 19, 2023.
The decision is in accordance with the GFA Premier League Regulations Article 14(2) which states among other things “the GFA may order the closure of any league centre where the safety of clubs, Match Officials or Spectators cannot be guaranteed.”’
The Competitions Department is therefore advised to determine the venue for the Club’s subsequent home matches in accordance with Article 14(3) Premier League Regulations.
However, This order is without prejudice to the determination of the pending case before the Disciplinary Committee which has been charged to hear the case in accordance with the relevant Regulations.
The GFA notes the unacceptable conduct of the supporters of the home team, Bofoakwa Tano FC and condemns same, without any reservations, the violations of the provisions of the GFA the Safety and Security Regulations and the Premier League Regulations which took place at the match.
The GFA Prosecutors have been tasked to study all the video evidence and the match reports and prefer appropriate Charges immediately and for the Disciplinary Committee to sit on this matter expeditiously.
The GFA demands that Bofoakwa Tano FC shall immediately assist the Regional Police to cause the arrest of the persons involved in this attack on the away team, and the holding of the match officials hostage, without fail, in accordance with the promise given by the clubs to the Inspector General of Police in our engagement with the leadership of the Ghana Police Service.
The Association has instructed the Competitions Department to fix the venues for the upcoming home matches of Bofoakwa Tano FC, until the case is determined, with due regard to the distance to be travelled by the away teams (note that matches can be fixed at the home of the away team if required).
All clubs are to take note and comply strictly with the Safety & Security Regulations and the GFA Disciplinary Code.
The GFA wishes to sound a strong note of caution to all members (especially all clubs) that the slightest harassment or attack on Players, Team Officials, Match Officials (Referees, Match Commissioners, GFA Cameramen and women, Venue Media Officers, the sports media) shall be dealt with severely and swiftly.
How French Ligue 1 side Le Havre introduced their latest signing, André Ayew
Ghana star Andre Ayew has made a sensational return to French football, signing for Ligue 1 side Le Havre on Saturday.
The 33-year-old attacking midfielder was presented to the Stade Oceane crowd ahead of Le Havre’s match against AS Monaco, marking his first appearance in the French top flight since leaving Olympique Marseille in 2015.
Ayew joins Le Havre as a free agent, having recently left Premier League side Nottingham Forest. His signing is a major coup for Les Ciel et Marine, who are currently seventh in Ligue 1 following their promotion from Ligue 2.
He will bring a wealth of experience to the squad, having played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Swansea City, West Ham, Fenerbahce, and Al Sadd.
Ayew’s arrival at Le Havre is significant not only for the club but also for the Black Stars with less than two months until the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in Ivory Coast.
Ayew will join his Black Stars teammates for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Madagascar and the Comoros Islands next week after signing his contract. His vast knowledge of the French league and his impressive goal-scoring record make him an asset to both club and country.
Le Havre fans are thrilled to see Ayew don the club’s colours, and they will be eagerly anticipating his debut. The former Marseille star is set to compete with Lille OSC loanee Mohamed Bayo for a starting spot in the team.
With Ayew’s expertise and leadership, Le Havre will look to consolidate their position in Ligue 1 and potentially mount a challenge for European places.