By 90Min
March 04, 2018

It has long been acknowledged that the best left foot in football at the moment belongs to Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi - and his right peg isn't bad either.

Like his Argentina hero Diego Maradona before him, Messi's ability to weave through defences using only his left foot seems to defy all logic. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has many weapons in his arsenal, but this is undoubtedly the most lethal.

Messi has often been described as possessing 'out-of-this-world' abilities, and a recent image from a Barcelona training session has left some people wondering if the mercurial magician might literally be from another planet.

If that looks painful, I can verify that it is. Unless you're one of the fittest footballers on the planet, in which case it's all in a day's work.

Messi has 23 goals in La Liga so far this season and 31 in all competitions. 2018 could be a huge year for Messi, for whom this summer's World Cup will be his last chance to win the biggest honour in international football. 

He will also be hoping to regain his Ballon d'Or title from Cristiano Ronaldo, who beat him to the punch in 2016 and 2017.

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Barcelona are five points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, and a further seven ahead of Ronaldo's Real Madrid. They will also contest the final of the Copa del Rey against Sevilla.

The Champions League is the golden prize though, as it is this competition which often determines the winner of the Ballon d'Or. Barcelona host Chelsea next week with their last 16 tie delicately poised at 1-1.

Barca can take a huge step towards their 25th Spanish title when they host Atletico on Sunday afternoon. A goal for Messi would be the 600th of his professional career.

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