Lionel Messi Vs. A Robot Goalie: Who You Got?

The battle between man and machine takes an unlikely turn, thanks to the best soccer player on the planet.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi is the best soccer player in the world. This is a fact.

Christian Hartmann / Reuters

Meanwhile, engineers in Japan built a robotic goalie with a motion-sensing device embedded in its head. It eats soccer balls for breakfast.

What happens when you pit the two against each other, in a battle for fútbol supremacy? One Japanese game show dared to find out.

What is that, a few yards away? Piece of cake.

But the mighty Messi was beat back. First blood goes to ROBOT OVERLORD.

What an embarrassment for humanity.

All seemed lost.

Even Messi couldn’t believe this turn of events.

Hope seemed remote heading into Round 2.

And Messi fails again! SKYNET REINCARNATE!

Might be time to seek out other life-sustaining planets!

But he did hit the post, so maybe this ball-gobbling automaton can be beaten after all.

Going into Round 3, Messi (and the hope of our very survival) had no margin for error. One more miss and he’d be toast.

Messi steadied himself, hopes and dreams of all civilization resting on his shoulders …

… and HE SCORES! ¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

The robot’s weakness has been found!

In Messi we trust!

But like any soulless robot, this goalie was unflappable. The score didn’t even seem to faze him.

Also, apparently, Messi had only sent the contest into overtime. One shot for all the marbles.

AND IT’S A GOAL!!! Eat it, Cyberdyne!!!

Fly away, Lionel Messi! You’ve saved us all from a lifetime of robot-led oppression.

Golazo? ¡Por supuesto!

In the end, Messi was deemed the “winner,” but the robot goalie will be back.

Oh, it will be back.

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