x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Lionel Messi the record-breaker

Andy Mitten has no doubts the Barcelona great will break every one he sets out to.

Lionel Messi, left, is just nine goals shy of equalling Gerd Muller's record of 85 in a calendar year. Enrique Calvo / Reuters
Lionel Messi, left, is just nine goals shy of equalling Gerd Muller's record of 85 in a calendar year. Enrique Calvo / Reuters

Lionel Messi scored two more goals at the weekend as Barcelona beat Mallorca 4-2 away.

The Argentine has now scored 76 times in 2012, his best ever haul and one more than Pele's record 75 in 1958.

Messi's achievement has come in just 59 games and with a potential 12 more to play in 2012, he has every chance of breaking the world record set by the German striker Gerd Muller, who hit 85 goals in 1972.

Sergio Busquets said that his Barca teammates are going to try to help Messi pass Muller's total.

After his latest goals, Messi's coach Tito Vilanova said: "Leo just keeps on breaking records. His goals tally is spectacular.

"Sometimes you think it's not possible to score that many. There are great players who done the same thing over seven or eight seasons, but he's done it in one. And most of them are fantastic goals."

Messi still has some records to break. For Barcelona, his 295 goals in all competitions so far put him behind Paulino Alcantara's 357 scored in 357 games between 1912 and 1927. In the Primera Liga for Barca, Messi's 184 goals since he debuted in 2004/05 are still behind Cesar's 192 scored between 1939 and1955.

Messi's league goals total also leaves him short of the 251 scored by the legendary Basque striker Telmo Zarra. He is one goal behind Alfredo di Stefano's 18 in el clasico matches, 26 goals behind the 56 Gabriel Batistutua scored for Argentina and 17 behind the 71 Raul scored in the Champions League, most of them for Real Madrid.

At 25, Messi still has at least seven or eight years to rip up every record he has yet to break.

The awards keep coming too. On Monday, he was named the Primera Liga's Players' Footballer of the Year and the Best Striker for last season. He is also favourite to lift the Ballon d'Or for a record fourth successive time in January.

The second favourite is his teammate Andres Iniesta, who said: "Leo is the number one in the world, not only for his goals but for his game in general. He has a huge importance to the team, he is unique and decisive and that's why he breaks all those records."

More are likely to be broken, if not all, by the world's great player.

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