On the 9th December, 2012, Barcelona striker Lionel Messi broke the scoring record for most goals scored in a calendar year. Previously, the record was held by German forward Gerd Mueller, who scored an amazing 85 goals for his club and country back in 1972.
However the long standing record was finally broken when Messi scored his second goal in the 2-1 win against Real Betis, which took his tally to 86. He equalled the record 16 minutes into the game, and then beat it just 9 minutes later with a low driving shot.
In the previous week’s Champions League game against Benfica, Messi’s hopes of taking the scoring record looked in doubt as he was stretchered off in agony, however fortunately the injury seemed worse than it was and the Argentinian was able to play the following weekend.
In an interview with Spanish TV station Canal Plus after the Betis game, the Striker stated;
“I always say the same, it’s nice for what it means but the victory is more important as it maintains our lead over the other teams…..My goal when the year began was to try to achieve everything again, with the team, in the league, the Cup, the Champions League.”
Back in 1972, the record was set when Mueller netted 72 goals for his club Bayern Munich and 13 for West Germany. When Messi broke the record, he had scored 12 times for his country and 74 for his club, however he wasn’t finished there. In the last few games of the calendar year, he managed 5 more goals, taking his tally to 77 league goals making his total for 2012 an amazing 91.
Former and current members of the Barcelona coaching staff have recently heaped praise on the player, for example former manager of the club Johan Cruyff claimed that he is in a totally different league to everyone else and tipped him not only to win this year’s World Player of the Year Award for the fourth time in a row, but to go on and win many more in the future.
Barcelona’s current manager Tito Vilanova was also quick to praise his star player, pointing out that not only does he score so many goals, he also plays his part when it comes to defensive duties. Sporting director and former goalkeeper at the club Andoni Zubizarreta also sang Messi’s praises claiming his talent is hard to measure as he makes everything look easy. Another former star to pay tribute was the former record holder Gerd Mueller. He stated to German newspaper Sport1.de;
“My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in 60 games. Now the best player in the world has broken it….I’m delighted for him. He is an incredible player, gigantic.”
The game against Real Betis not only saw Messi break the goal scoring record of most netted in a calendar year, the same game also saw him take over Cesar Rodriguez’s record of 192 league goals for the club, a record Messi looks set to increase and keep for a very long time.
Morgan Likes to write about football tips and news in his afl tips blog.