Lionel Messi told he must score another 22 goals this year to break record
Zambian FA claim record belongs to Godfrey Chitalu who scored 107 goals in a calendar year
Lionel Messi has been lauded across the world this week after his brace against Real Betis saw him overtake Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record for the most goals scored in a calendar year.
The Argentine's tally for the year was taken to 86, one more than the 85 scored by Muller in 1972.
However, according to the Zambian FA, the record was never Muller's to be broken, but was rather Kabwe Warriors striker Godfrey Chitalu who scored 107 goals, also in 1972.
The five-time Zambian player of the year's feat was never officially recognised by Fifa, and the Zambian FA is launching a bid to have his goals officially recorded.
Should they be successful, it would mean Barcelona forward Messi needs another 22 goals before the end of the year. With just three games to do it in, even for arguably the most gifted player of all time, it might prove a struggle.
"We have this record, which has been recorded in Zambian football, but unfortunately it has not been recorded in world football," said a Zambia FA spokesperson. "Even as the world has been looking at Lionel Messi's record, breaking Gerd Müller's, the debate and discussion back here has been why Godfrey's goals are not being recognised.
"What we are doing is, we have commissioned an independent team locally to go back into the archives and record minute-by-minute each of those goals. The team that we have put together is going to calculate all of those goals, recording whichever game or tournament they were scored in.
"We will then send that to CAF [Confederation of African Football] and Fifa so that we can show that, while Messi's record is there, while Müller's record is there, the actual record holder in terms of goals per calendar year is actually an African. It's actually Godfrey Chitalu."
Chitalu scored the goals across at least four domestic competitions as well as appearing for the national side. He went on to become the national coach of Zambia before he died in 1993 when a plane carrying the team crashed.
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
Champions League final preview: Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.