In the wake of Lionel Messi’s latest record, there’s been some very minor backlash. Soccer seasons don’t exist January-to-December, some have noted.
No, but calendars do. And people still use calendars. They still annotated date in discrete year units. Nobody records their daughter’s birthday in terms of the Spanish soccer season.
Well, hopefully they don’t.
Admittedly, it is a bit contrived to pick a window that doesn’t correspond to the soccer season, but talking about goals scored in a calendar year isn’t arbitrary. And given soccer leagues around the world have different start dates, a January-to-December isn’t that objectionable. The backlash seems more Messi fatigue or being blindsided by hype of yet another record, both of which are understandable.
But all records are kind of wonky, especially when you’re comparing players that didn’t play in the same era, competition, or country. Even baseball, where numbers are more revered than anywhere, have records that mean almost nothing. Does anybody care who holds the home run record now? Records are just something to talk about, even if nobody’s obliged to engage in the conversation.
Ultimately, a dude has scored 86 goals in a little less than 12 months. Even if we talk about that independent of record books, it’s an accomplishment worth noting.
Which is exactly what this video does. Need something to watch while your Cup of Noodles cools down? Here are Messi’s 86 goals all in one place. Enjoy.