In the eyes of Brazilian legend, Pele, Lionel Messi is not as good as he was during his own hey days but the Barcelona ace keeps breaking and setting his own records with seeming ease and just yesterday, he surpassed Pele’s milestone of goals in a calendar year by scoring for the 75th and 76th time in 2012.
The Argentine moved within nine of Gerd Muller’s all-time record and helped Barcelona win 4-2 at Mallorca in La Liga.
Xavi Hernandez scored in the 28th minute before Messi struck in the 44th. Cristian Tello added a third goal a minute later.
Pele scored 75 goals in 1958. Muller netted 85 in 1972.
Muller will perhaps be discouraged to hear that Messi is chasing another of his records having already surpassed one last season.
The prolific German hitman scored 67 goals for Bayern Munich in the 1972-73 season.
This remained the highest tally in a European club season until the diminutive Messi scored 73 for Barcelona in the 2011-12 campaign.
Messi has nine games left to score the ten goals to surpass Muller’s 85 goals, and given his current run of form – 15 goals in 11 La Liga games – the 25-year-old is on course to usurp the German once more.
League appearances this season: 11
League goals this season: 15
Total Barcelona appearances: 328
Total Barcelona goals: 270
Games remaining to beat Gerd Muller’s record: 9