FC Barcelona's Leo Messi is already one of the greatest soccer players in history. And he's only 24 years old. (AP)

FC Barcelona's Leo Messi is already one of the greatest soccer players in history. And he's only 24 years old. (AP)

A couple of weeks ago I happily noted that FC Barcelona’s Leo Messi had done something no other soccer player had ever done by scoring scored five times in a Champions League game. That, I thought, would perhaps suffice as far as celebrations of Leo Messi were concerned. But no.

On Tuesday in a league game against Granada, Messi scored three more times. The second of those goals, Number 233, made him the most prolific scorer in the illustrious history of his club, and it seems reasonable to suppose that Leo Messi will extend that record by a good deal. He is 24 years old.

Pro soccer lags behind football, basketball, and baseball in this country, of course, and lots of sports fans here may lack the context to appreciate Messi’s achievement. Perhaps Barcelona Manager Pep Guardiola had that in mind this week when he offered this bit of understatement: “We can compare him, perhaps, to Michael Jordan.”