“Can he do it on a cold night at Stoke?”, some football fans cheekily ask of Lionel Messi.
There’s not much the Barcelona wizard can’t do – even breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for quickest player to 100 Champions League goals in the 3-0 taming of Chelsea.
Messi has won eight La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns and even five Ballons d’Or.
It’s fair to say he could probably “do it” at the bet365 Stadium come rain or shine…
In fact, the Argentine superstar could probably take on the entire Stoke squad and come away with the win.
After all, Messi has scored more goals this decade than the entirety of Stoke City FC…
Since January 1, 2010, the Barca sensation has scored 445 club goals, while the Potters have scored just 444.
While Messi is unquestionably one of the greatest footballers to ever step out onto a football pitch, it’s still remarkable that – over eight years – one man could outscore an entire football club.
That’s just club goals, too. If you were to tack on his record for Argentina, Messi’s tally would be a remarkable 472.
Messi has played more club games since 2010 than Stoke – at 441 compared to 378 – thanks to Barcelona’s habit of progressing in just about every tournament.
Stoke’s total goals per game sits at 1.17 compared to Messi’s simply ludicrous 1.01… all by himself.
For context, no Stoke player has scored more than 14 goals in a single season since 2010, when Peter Crouch notched that tally in the 2011-12 season.
Messi, meanwhile, has reached an outrageous high of 73 in the very same season – more than five times as many as Crouchy.
But how else does Messi compare to Stoke, other than with his utter dominance in finding the back of the onion bag? Take a look, below…
MESSI relaxes after a hard-day training in a stunning location just 12 miles from the iconic Nou Camp – the idyllic Castelldefels.
The complex boasts stunning views out to the Balearic Sea, with Messi, 30, residing in the small, homely Bellamar region within Castelldefels.
A special home for a special player, Messi’s mansion was bought for a staggering £6.2m – built on a 13-square mile plot.
While the house itself is round, when viewed next to the entrance area from above it looks like the number 10, with Messi even calling the home One-Zero Eco House.
After the modifications, it’s now suggested Messi’s phenomenal home is worth around £10m.
Meanwhile, Stoke players’ homes while more modest are still something to behold.
Fringe-player Stephen Ireland recently put his £4m mansion up for sale, complete with £100,000 fish-tank and even a 5-a-side astro-turf pitch.
Stoke was also famous a few years ago for introducing the “£1 house” – with more than 600 people interested in purchasing the rundown homes, according to the city council.
Messi married his long-term partner Antonella Roccuzzo last year – with the pair welcoming their first child into the world earlier this year.
In a true love story – and a far cry from the average footballer’s “WAG” tale – Messi and the stunning Roccuzzo, 30, met when they were just 13-years-old.
Since then, they’ve lived a comparatively quiet and private life – at least compared to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Roccuzzo initially trained to be a dentist at university but ultimately switched to social communication, before signing a modelling contract with Ricky Sakany in 2016.
On the other hand, Stoke’s WAGs are headlined by Crouch’s wife Abbey Clancy – who welcomed their first son, and third child overall, to the world in January.
The pair met at a mutual friend’s party in 2005 before the footballer and former Britain’s Next Top Model star wed in 2011.
ACCORDING to Forbes, Messi is worth £57million based on his earnings for the 2017 calendar year, taking into account his wage and endorsement deals.
But in purely footballing terms, Messi is worth £625m… at least, according to Barcelona.
The La Liga giants inserted the sky-high figure in his current deal, purely because Spanish league regulations insist upon every player having a release clause.
At the time of signing the deal, Barcelona had believed no-one would ever go close to that fee, but after Neymar’s £198m move last summer, they’re starting to worry.
Clubs such as Manchester City have revealed they may consider tripling the world record transfer fee to bring in Messi, despite his advancing years.
Meanwhile, Stoke are estimated to be worth £134m… the entire club – players, stadium, endorsement deals and all.
MESSI of course famously plays his home games at Barcelona’s stunning Camp Nou – first opened in 1957.
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The Catalan stadium holds close to 100,000 fans per game – the largest ground in both Spain and Europe.
Meanwhile, Stoke play at what is now known as the bet365 Stadium, formerly the Britannia Stadium.
With an attendance of just 30,000 it’s far more modest than the Nou Camp, but much newer too having been constructed in 1997.