Can Lionel Messi take out a robotic goalie?

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.

(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.

Via kottke.org

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