Has there ever been a greater footballer than Lionel Messi?
It’s a notion few who have witnessed the Argentine’s finest moments find difficult to envisage, such has been the standards Messi has set alongside fellow icon Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years.
Messi has produced no shortage of mesmeric moments of world-class quality, starring in the colours of Barcelona to become the greatest goalscorer in the Catalan’s history and the club’s finest ever footballer.
Selecting Messi’s defining performance is no easy task given his catalogue of match-winning interventions, but his four-goal destruction of Arsenal in 2010 remains one of the best individual showings the Champions League has seen.
It’s almost laughable to think that just over a decade ago there were those who questioned whether Messi could cut it against England’s best, a bizarre view that Argentina international made a mockery of over the course of 90 minutes against Arsenal at the Camp Nou.
11 years ago today, Arsene Wenger’s side were dismantled in ruthless fashion by a player in irrepressible form, Messi scoring four times in a 4-1 thrashing of the north Londoners in the Champions League’s quarter-finals.
The first was a rocket from distance, the second a clever lifted finish and the third an audacious chip, Messi later netting a fourth after rifling the ball through the legs of Manuel Almunia.
This was a player living up to his billing as arguably the best on the planet and soon-to-be one of the most exceptional talents the game has ever witnessed.