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What next for Leo Messi? The records he could break in 2013

by Al 10. January 2013 05:38

How do you follow a year like the one had by the irrepressible Leo Messi? With 91 goals in 69 games, a record fourth FIFA Ballon d'Or award and acclaim at every corner, the Barcelona star came into 2012 hoping to prove himself as the best player in the world. He left it to whispers that he might just be the best of all time.

So what next for the man who appears to break records without breaking a sweat? Perhaps the scariest thing about the Argentine's acheivements to date is is that at age 25, he's only approaching what should be his peak. Gerd Muller was 27 before he hit 85 goals to set the record for most goals scored in a single calendar year - a record Messi eased past in 2012 with two years and five goals to spare. With five domestic trophies, three more than Diego Maradona at the same age, and a succession of European titles to his name, the thought that the best is yet to come from the famous number 10 is one that will be keeping defenders awake at night as the world reflects on an amazing fourth consecutive world player of the year award this week. Here's a few records Messi may have his eye on as 2013 continues to get underway.

Most European goals

The Barcelona striker has scored 56 goals in the UEFA Champions League in just 74 games, putting him on level with Thierry Henry (57 goals in 139 games) and just 15 off the record set by Raul despite having played half the number of European fixtures as the Spanish great. Becoming the record European goalscorer would be a significant achievement for Messi. Doing it in fewer than 100 games would be phenomenal. It's also worth noting Messi has been top scorer in the Champions League four times, equalling the record set by Gerd Muller. Another year as prolific as the last - he scored 14 in last season's competition and has already 4 in this year's competition - and he'll have taken another record from the German legend.

Best La Liga goalscorer

Messi is still some 55 goals off the record number of La Liga goals scored by Bilbao marksman Telmo Zarra, who terrorised defences between 1940-56. Zarra scored 251 league goals across his career with an impressive conversation rate of 0.91 but could be about to have his record usurped by the Argentine who currently has 196 domestic strikes to his name.

Diego Maradona's feats

Deployed in similar number 10 role (though Messi is more of an out and out striker than his much loved countryman), Messi has long been compared to El Diego for his intricate style of play and compelling style on the ball. With 227 career goals to date, Messi can feasibly put that comparison to bed in 2013 by scoring 85 times to overtake Maradona's 311 total career goals to be recognised finally as a phenomenon in his own right. Some would suggest he won't truly surpass Maradona till he's led his national team to World Cup glory as Diego did but in new coach Alejandro Sabella, Messi has a manager whose tactics may better suit the style of football he's used to at Barcelona - during his playing days, former Leeds star Sabella was nicknamed Sloth for his penchance for patient, measured passing build up play. Sound familiar? Anyway, Maradona was 26 before leading Argentina to a famous 1986 World Cup victory - the same age Messi will be heading into next year's tournament in Brazil. An omen? It could well be...

**Click here to enter our competition to win a signed Leo Messi adidas F-50 boot**


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The world's best players attract a lot of attention...

by Al 11. June 2012 09:38

In Spain's 1-1 draw with Italy on Sunday, Andrés Iniesta found himself getting the Diego Maradona treatment...

This classic photo of Maradona was taken when Argentina played Belgium at the 1982 World Cup. 20 years later at Euro 2012, Spain's midfield master Iniesta found out that some things never change.

Keep an eye out for Icons' next signing with Iniesta, when we'll be sure to add this amazing photo to our collection.


Buy a personally signed Maradona Takes On Belgium photo HERE

View Icons' full range of signed Iniesta shirts, boots and photos HERE

Follow Icons on Twitter @icons_football

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Leo Messi: Genuinely the World's Best

by Al 12. January 2012 08:44

For Barcelona and Argentina's Leo Messi, life at the pinnacle of his profession is becoming routine. Winner of the Ballon d'Or for the third year in a row, there is no questioning his status as the world's best player. The 24-year-old has signed exclusively for Icons since 2006, and our relationship has gone from strength to strength ever since. The world's best player and the home of signed football memorabilia. It makes for a dream partnership.

We first met with Leo Messi as an 18-year-old on May 5th, 2006. The little Argentinian made his debut for both Barcelona and his country the previous season, but had made fewer than 30 first-team appearances in total. It was still more than enough to convince us he had a huge future. Below is a photo of Leo at that first ever signing in Barcelona. Since that day we have conducted six more exclusive signing sessions together. (We have also improved our photography skills considerably!)

Messi's footballing brilliance is not easy to put into words, suffice to say he is beyond hyperbole. A devastating combination of breathtaking speed and power, close control, and extraordinary technical ability lands him in a league of his own. For all his talent, even the outstanding Cristiano Ronaldo cannot get close. So inevitable was Messi's Ballon d'Or triumph that the Portuguese didn't even bother to attend at the ceremony in Zurich.

Messi's hat-trick of Ballon d'Or awards coincides with three consecutive La Liga wins for Barcelona. It's no coincidence. Since the beginning of the 2008/09 season, Messi has fired a remarkable 169 goals in 187 Barcelona appearances, with dozens of assists to boot. Never before has a player dominated world football quite like this at the tender age of 24. He has become only the fourth player to win the Ballon d'Or three times, alongside legends Marco van Basten, Michel Platini and Johan Cruyff. Messi will eclipse them all.

Along with dozens of individual accolades, Messi has accumulated five La Liga titles, three Champions League wins and a Copa del Rey. Indeed, the only piece of silverware missing from his sparkling CV is a World Cup with Argentina. At 24, however, he has time on his side. He will get further chances to emulate the feats of Pele and Diego Maradona at international level. In terms of pure ability though, he is more than a match for the pair of them already.

"Off the pitch I am just normal," said Messi in Zurich. And he's right. Humble, unassuming and polite, he is a pleasure to work with. On the pitch, however, he is unlike any footballer the world has ever seen.

Our most recent meeting with Leo came on December 5th of last year, just over a month ago (pictured below). You can view our fantastic range of personally signed Messi products - including home and away shirts, boots and photos - here.

Follow Icons on Twitter and Facebook for news on our signings, and a chance to win amazing signed football memorabilia!

Icons at World Cup 2010

by Steve 3. June 2010 09:17

And so we're almost there...  The Greatest Show On Earth is just days away.  For the next month all that exists is the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  Lifetime memories will be made, dreams will come true and icons will rise to become legends.  But who will be remembered as the stars of 2010?

The chances are it will be a player who has signed with Icons.com in the last year. Click on the incredible list of players set to star in this summer's tournament below, and also legends of past World Cups.

World Cup 2010 Stars

World Cup Legends

Whoever makes the move from the first list to the second this summer, and whatever happens over the next month, you can guarantee that you'll never forget it.

What links Diego Maradona and Wayne Rooney?

by Steve 19. May 2010 07:47

Apart from the fact that they are both incredible footballers...?  Earlier this month the icons team travelled down to Buenos Aires to meet up with Argentinian legend and current national team Manager, Diego Maradona.

As you can imagine, meeting up with Maradona was a dream come true for the team, and to do it in El Diego's back garden made it even more special. Make sure you take a look at the fantastic new personally hand-signed Argentina 1986 World Cup Winners shirts and brand new signed photographs capturing three classic moments from Maradona's World Cup in 1986.

* Maradona's famous "Hand of God"
* Maradona Vs Belgium
* Maradona lifting the World Cup

So what links Maradona and Rooney?  Well you may recall that a few months ago when we met up with Rooney in Manchester, we said we'd ask Maradona to sign a shirt for Rooney...  As you can see below, Maradona was only too happy to oblige!


Is Ronaldo the best free-kick taker of all-time?

by Dan 23. February 2009 12:10

Cristiano Ronaldo sent Manchester United well on their way to a third successive Premiership title with another phenomenal free-kick at the weekend.

His trademark delivery in the 60th minute at Old Trafford left Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson helpless, and with Liverpool only drawing, leaves Utd seven points clear at the top.

It was yet another unstoppable free-kick and you have to ask - is he the greatest free-kick specialist of all time?

Here is our list of top takers:

5. Roberto Carlos. Never seemed to score, apart from that screamer against France in Le Tournoi 1997, but was always fun to watch.

4. Paul Gascoigne.Who can forget that free-kick against Arsenal in the FA Cup?

3. Alessandro del Piero. Better scoring percentage than Ronaldo, (and Beckham) so maybe unlucky to miss out on second spot.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo. The way they dip and swerve they're unstoppable; he's even created his own technique adapted to the modern ball. Genius.

1. Diego Maradona. The greatest of all time. Just watch this. No argument.

OK, so no David Beckham. We all remember that winner against Greece but how many remember the dozens he ballooned over the bar earlier in the game when a chip to the big fella at the back stick would have done the job?

We'd love to hear what you think below...

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About Icons Memorabilia

Welcome to the icons blog, we'll be regularly posting here about what's going on with our star signings and what new products have arrived

We love what we do so we'll also be talking about what's going on in the world of football and sport in general.

We'd really appreciate your feedback and comments too.

Cheers - The icons.com team.

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