Lionel Messi breaks Gerd Mueller's 40-year record with 86th goal

Messi-muller

Lionel Messi broke German great Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record for most goals in a year by scoring for the 86th time in 2012 on Sunday.

The Argentina forward scored twice to lead 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 equal Mueller's mark, and he eclipsed the 1972 milestone with a familiar 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 patch we want to continue on,'' Messi said. "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 has three more games in which he can add to his tally before the end of the year. Mueller 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 Nov. 11 to move into second place behind Mueller.

After his record 50 goals in the Spanish league last campaign, Messi has led Barcelona to the best start in the history of the championship this season with 14 wins and a draw in the opening 15 rounds. The scoring ace has found the net 30 times already this season in all competitions for Barcelona.

"We won't see another player like (Messi),'' Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova said. "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.''

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