10 of TIME's 100 'most influential'

What does it mean to be influential today? TIME Magazine may not have a scientific answer, but they identified scores of people in their 2012 “100 Most Influential People in the World” list, released this week. Here is a sampling of 10 people from around the world who made the cut.

Lionel Messi, professional soccer player

Brazil’s Pele, Argentina’s Maradona, and now 20-something old Lionel Messi? Known for his impressive rate of goal-scoring (a record five Champions League goals in one game this year), the young Argentine soccer star’s name is already noted in conversations on the sport’s greatest. As of April, Mr. Messi, who plays for Barcelona, had scored an impressive 50 goals in 43 games for the season, and is thought to be on track to break some of the sport’s long-running scoring records by the time the 2014 World Cup rolls around.

Messi “is unbelievably talented and incredibly humble. He makes you hold your breath every time he touches the ball,” said award-winning soccer player Mia Hamm, who wrote his entry for TIME. “He certainly has the potential to be remembered as the best player of all time.”

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