SPORTS

Messi breaks Gerd Mueller record

The World Player of the Year Lionel Messi surpassed two long-standing records with a La Liga double at Real Betis on Sunday, beating Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old mark of 85 for a calendar year and overtaking Cesar Rodriguez, who played in the 1940s and 50s, as Barca’s top scorer in the league on 192, yahoo.sport reports.Messi needed 66 games to reach 86 and overhaul Mueller, who scored his goals in 60 matches for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972, while he has amassed his league tally for Barca in 229 outings since his debut in 2004, compared with 190 goals in 287 matches for Cesar.He still has two La Liga games and a King’s Cup match to extend his 2012 total and if he keeps going at anything like his current rate his career scoring records are unlikely to be challenged for many, many years.“I am going to try to score one or two more (before the end of the year) to make it more difficult for anyone who comes after me,” a typically modest Messi joked with reporters after the Betis game.Nicknamed “the flea”, Messi’s exploits have put those of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo firmly in the shade and he is the overwhelming favourite to secure a fourth consecutive World Player award – another record – when the winner is announced next month. The debate over whether he is the best player of all time will rage on and perhaps will only be settled if Messi achieves what soccer greats Pele and Diego Maradona managed with Brazil and Argentina respectively – winning the World Cup. “Ultimately, we will evaluate Leo’s records with the passing of time,” the club’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, who is probably thankful Messi wasn’t around when he was keeping goal for Barca and Spain, said in a TV interview on Sunday. He will always say that the goals are the result of the work of everyone, that it’s a team effort, but the scoring talent is his alone,” he added. “For anyone who likes football watching Leo is a piece of great good fortune.”

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