He’s already considered one of the greatest soccer players of all-time… And Lionel Messi has just shown the world another reason why…
The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol star broke German great Gerd Muller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a year on Sunday by scoring for the 86th time in 2012.
Messi scored twice to lead FC Barcelona to a 2-1 win at Real Betis in the Spanish league match.
His first was an individual effort in the 16th minute to tie Muller’s mark, and he eclipsed the 1972 milestone with a left-footed finish nine minutes later.
“As I have said many times, the record is nice but the important thing is the victory that keeps us on the path we want to continue on,” said Messi. “As I always say, my objectives are on a team level: to win the league, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey again.”
Messi has scored 74 goals for Barcelona and 12 times for Argentina this year, and he still has three games left to add to his tally before the end of the year. Muller scored 85 for Bayern Munich and West Germany.
The 25-year-old Messi passed Brazil great Pele‘s single-season milestone of 75 goals for Brazil and Santos in 1958 with his 75th and 76th goals of the year on November 11 to move into second place behind Muller.
“We won’t see another player like (Messi),” said Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova. “Not just because of his ability to score. But also for his ability to pass, play defense, and his understandings of the game. He is a global star that helps us in so many ways.”
Messi is one of the three finalists for the FIFA world player of the year award along with teammate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s won the Ballon d’Or for the past three years in helping Barcelona win three Spanish league titles and two Champions League crowns, along with several other competitions. He ‘s seeking to become the only player to win the award for a fourth time when the winner is announced on January 7.
“Leo is supernatural,” said Barcelona defender Gerard Pique. “He doesn’t have limits. We’ll always have to remember everything he gave us. We have to enjoy every minute we have with him.”