With 13 goals in 17 games this season, and 227 La Liga strikes in total, it’s clear Lionel Messi is on another planet to most players.
For your average striker a one in two strike-ratio is considered good going.
It’s the kind of form that Cody McDonald is on and form that stands up there with the very best strikers to have played at Gillingham.
While George Nicol was banging the goals away with regularity in the 30s and Derek Lewis doing likewise in the 50s, there are only a handful who can compare to McDonald’s strike-rate.
With 42 goals in 77 league games his goals per game ratio stands at 0.55. During Gills’ Football League era few others have been able to boast such stats.
Gordon Brasted’s four goals in five appearances during the 1956/57 is the best of the lot (ignoring Nathan Nyafli’s one in one), having arrived from Arsenal with a dubious injury record. It was what denied him the chance of properly establishing himself as a real Priestfield hero.
Sustaining a strike record is what’s key and the remarkable thing about McDonald is that he keeps returning and keeps coming up with the goods.
Even Gills hero Bob Taylor couldn’t do that. He left Priestfield for Manchester City after hitting 33 in 61 games – including the unforgettable five at Burnley – but on his loan return years later failed to find the target in 11.
The old adage ‘don’t go back’ certainly applied to Super Bob, although it’s done nothing to take the gloss off his previous exploits.
McDonald netted 25 league goals during his first season, having joined on loan to soften the blow following Simeon Jackson’s move in the opposite direction to Norwich.
Would he be the same player upon his return on loan in January 2013? Gills fans only had to look back a year or two and see what a flop Chris Dickson was on his high-profile return.
McDonald dispelled the fears, scoring four goals in seven appearances, before being recalled. Finally, in the summer, the Gills got their man permanently and once again, he hasn’t disappointed.
With 13 so far, including seven in the last eight, he has now registered 42 league goals from 77 appearances - nine of those coming from off the bench.
Strikers who aren’t scoring probably don’t like getting judged on their goals – strikers who do score love it. At the moment McDonald is not just scoring with regularity but also putting in a shift for his team-mates.
His strike-rate is up there with the best and some would point to Derek Lewis’ record as the very best.
Inside-forward Lewis joined the Gills from Eastern Counties side Bury Town for just £10. Gills boss Archie Clark soon had a real talent on his hands.
Lewis scored 31 goals in 48 games before the top-flight side Preston paid £13,000 for his services and off he went to partner the great Tom Finney, who sadly passed away on Friday night.
In Lewis’ first season in Lancashire, alongside Finney, he scored 14 goals. An international cap beckoned before tragedy struck. He died of a brain haemorrhage in his second season.
Another golden great was Pat Terry. The big striker tucked away 60 goals in 108 league appearances, while Bill Hales – a regular goalscorer in the Southern League – hit nine in 15 during his spell in the Football League.
Dave Thomas ran the Prince of Wales pub in Gillingham but not before making a name for himself on the pitch at Priestfield. He had a fearsome partnership with Lewis and ended his stint at the club with 42 league goals in 80 appearances.
McDonald is clearly in good company and playing under a manager that knows how to get the best out of him. He’s no Messi but he’s a player that’s writing his name into Gillingham’s history books at least.