In what’s proved to be a banner year, Lionel Messi has extended his goal-scoring record…
The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambasador, who broke German great Gerd Muller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a year earlier this month, ended his record year this weekend with his 91st and final goal of 2012 in Fútbol Club Barcelona‘s 3-1 win at Valladolid, which the team dedicated to ailing coach Tito Vilanova.
Messi scored in the 59th minute by dribbling between a defender’s legs before making it 2-0 after Xavi Hernandez had opened the scoring two minutes before halftime.
Barcelona’s players wore T-shirts before the game with messages of support for Vilanova, who had throat surgery to remove a second tumor in two years on Thursday.
“This win is for Tito,” Barcelona defender Dani Alves said. “It’s a surprise and joy that he is home now. We are here to help him any way he can. Football is secondary now, he is fighting for his life.”
Barcelona remained perfect in nine away games and extended its record league start with its 16th win in 17 rounds. It opened up a nine-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid and a 16-point gap over Real Madrid after it lost to Malaga Saturday.