The Faceoff: Who is the most dominant athlete in sports?

At the young age of 24, Fútbol Club Barcelona center forward Lionel Messi is clearly the most dominant player in his sport.

Manchester United star striker Wayne Rooney recently tweeted, “Messi is a joke. For me the best ever.” This incredible praise came after Messi displayed his dominance by scoring a record five goals against German league winner Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League bout.

Although Messi had never scored five in Champions League play before, he has consistently proven his dominance on the biggest of stages.

Messi recently became the youngest player in almost 40 years to score 60 goals in one season. The all-time record of 67, set by Gerd Müller of Germany’s FC Bayern Munich in 1973, is well within Messi’s reach.

While some claim Messi’s astronomical success is mainly due in part to the other world class players that surround him on the FC Barcelona roster, his dominance is in fact his own. Not just a striker who finishes off great passes, he is a player who scores on his own and creates for others.

The Argentine star conducts the orchestra while playing first violin. What sets him apart from others like Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo is his ability to be successful by any means.

As FIFA’s World Player of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Messi consistently proves to be more dominant in soccer than any other athlete is in their respective sport.

With video game-like moves that embarrass even the staunchest of defensemen, Messi’s dominance will only increase in the years to come.