On December 9, Argentina-born soccer star with FC Barcelona Lionel Messi broke the long-standing record for number of goals scored in a single calendar year.
On Sunday, the 25-year-old forward scored two goals against Real Betis. With the day’s first goal, Messi tied Gerd Müller’s all-time record at 85 and also equaled Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscoring record in the La Liga division. His second goal of the game made him the record holder.
Gerd Müller’s record had been set in 1972 while he played with West Germany’s national team and with Bayern Munich.
Messi has proven once again why he is a three-time World Player of the Year (Ballons d’Or ) and has likely earned himself a fourth award.
“Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history,” former Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff told BBC Sport.
“He will win five, six, seven. He is incomparable. He’s in a different league.”
It should be noted that Messi’s record-breaking goals almost did not happen, as he had to be carried away on a stretcher during Wednesday’s match against Benifica in a Barcelona’s Champion’s League match.
In all, Messi’s goals break down to 74 for Barcelona and 12 for Argentina, scored in 66 games. The total number of goals is likely to increase, as he still has two league matches and a King’s Cup tie to play before year’s end.
After Sunday’s match, Messi took to Facebook to thank his teammates and fans “who have made this possible. I could not have done this without you!”
He went on to say “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. As I always say, my objectives are on a team level: to win the league, the Champions League and Copa del Rey again.”