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Can Lionel Messi take out a robotic goalie?

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Lionel Messi Player of the Year 2011 image by Christopher Johnson, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Argentine star shooter and multiple Player of the Year winner Lionel Messi has been given a run for his money by a crazy Japanese robotic goalkeeper.

If you don't follow football, Lionel Messi is kind of a big deal. The star forward for Argentina and La Liga's FC Barcelona has set a whole bunch of records with his sharp shooting skills, including European record for most goals scored in a season during 2011-2012, the current La Liga record of 50 goals for the same season, the Guinness World Record for the most goals scored in a year and becoming the first player to score five goals in a single match in the Champions League last year.

He's also won a bunch of Player of the Year awards, and was the first player to be awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or four times. So, yeah, kind of a big deal.

But it turns out that a crazy Japanese robot goal keeper can give even Messi a run for his money. Since the video below is in Japanese, we're not sure how the robot works — we're guessing some kind of motion-tracking sensor — but the way it accurately predicts the trajectory of a speeding ball — the first at 132 km/h, the second at 123 km/h, for an idea — is pretty impressive.

Messi takes four shots at the goalie. Skip ahead to 1:04, 3:11, 5:40 and 9:40 to see them.


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