Just when you think Lionel Messi can't do any more, he goes out and raises the "genius" bar that much higher. On Wednesday, the FC Barcelona superstar scored five goals in his team's 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
In doing so, he became the first-ever player to score five goals in a UEFA Champions League game. Messi scored in the 25th, 42nd, 49th, 58th and 84th minutes, leading the rout, and earning Barcelona a place in the Champions League quarterfinals.
With a little over two months left to play this season, Messi is on the verge of smashing a number of records. The 12 goals he's scored in this season's Champions League ties him with Ruud van Nistelrooy (2002-03) for the most in one season. He could play as many as five more games in the between now and late May.
The 24-year-old has scored 228 goals in 311 appearances for Barcelona. That moves him to within seven goals of breaking the club record. Think about it. At 24, he's closing in on the club record at one of the most storied clubs in all of world soccer.
He's scored 53 goals in 49 games for club and country this season. This could go on and on, so let's get on with the photos.