Lionel Messi surpasses incredible milestone set by Pelé

Argentinian international needs to score 10 more goals this year to beat record set by Gerd Müller

Lionel Messi surpassed Pelé’s record of 75 goals in a calendar year set in 1958 as he scored twice during Barcelona’s entertaining 4-2 victory over Real Mallorca, which saw them remain three points ahead of the chasing pack.

In duly despatching the Brazilian’s haul, Messi moves ever closer to becoming the greatest ever goalscorer in a calendar year - a title held by Gerd Müller who scored 85 goals in 1972.

The Argentine still has 10 games left to surpass the astonishing record, if he plays in all of Barcelona’s and Argentina’s remaining fixtures this year.

Messi has now scored 76 goals in 2012 and given his goals per game average of 1.36 this season in La Liga, he certainly has a realistic chance of eclipsing the spectacular record set by Müller.

Barcelona went ahead last night in the 28th minute thanks to a typically effortless Xavi free-kick. Messi scored his first in the 44th minute with a jinking run followed by a tame shot which spilled by Mallorca ‘keeper Dudu Aouate.

Get Adobe Flash player

Christian Tello made it 3-0 a minute later, but after shipping two soft goals in the second half, Barca saw their three-goal advantage reduced to one. Predictably, Messi secured the points for the Catalan club in the 70th minute by smashing into the roof of the next from the edge of the area, and with that, racked up his seventh brace of the season.

Elsewhere in La Liga, Atletico’s win over Getafe and a last-gasp Real Madrid victory at Levante ensured that the top three clubs remained separated by eight points. The top three leading goalscorers are also unaltered, with Messi and Ronaldo taking their tallies to 15 and 12 goals respectively, and Falcao staying put on ten.

As well launching an assault on Muller’s calendar goals total, Messi’s dominance is illustrated by the surfeit of records he already holds, including the titles of Barcelona’s leading Champions League goal scorer, Barcelona’s only player to net 15 hat-tricks in La Liga, and the only player to be crowned Champions League top scorer four years in a row.

Upon his comparison with Messi, Pelé famously said: “When Messi has scored 1,283 goals like me, when he’s won three World Cups, we’ll talk about it”. While the Argentine will probably never enjoy the same success on the international stage as Pelé , Messi’s dominance at the highest level of club football is what, in many an opinion, sets him apart from the Santos legend.   

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent