Sunday, December 8, 2013

9 December 2012 - Still An Impressive Record By Any Measure

On 9 December 2012, Lionel Messi scored twice to beat Gerd Müller's record for goals in a calendar year. But it turned out not to be quite the record everyone thought it was.

Going into Barcelona's away match against Real Betis, Messi was sitting on a total of 84 goals scored in 2012 for his club and Argentina, putting him one behind the mark of 85 set by Gerd Müller in 1972 for Bayern Munich and Germany. But he scored twice in the first half (16', 25') to surpass Müller's record and Barcelona went on to win 1-2.

Afterward, several post-match reports referred to Messi's achievement as a world record. But the Football Association of Zambia claimed that one of their players, Godfrey Chitalu, scored a massive 107 goals in 1972, the same year that Müller reached his own record. FIFA refused to recognize either accomplishment, citing issues of proof, so they remain unofficial for now, with Messi having the European record and Chitalu having the overall world record.

Messi went on to score another five goals before the end of the year, taking his number to 91.

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