When the great Lionel Messi scored his 86th goal of 2012 it was thought he had again wrote his name into the record books. Yet soon after he had reached this great feat claims emerged that in fact the real record for goals in a calendar year was much higher.
The first of which came from the Zambian FA, they believe ex Kabwe Warriors striker Godfrey Chitalu scored 107 goals back in 1972. Incidentally, the same year that Bayern Munich’s Gerd ‘Torpedo’ Muller scored 85 goals to set the prevoius acknowledged record.
Brazilian legend Zico has also been mentioned. His former club Flamengo claim he netted 89 times in 1979.
It was left to FIFA to settle the argument one way or another, however as FIFA do not keep domestic records they were unable to credit the record to anyone.
We don’t have a database which details every football game played in every country from around the world since day one of their formation,” Told a FIFA spokesman.
“It’s certainly nothing to do with bias – if we can confirm records from our tournaments we like doing that.
“It’s a record where someone in the media obviously collected statistics from somewhere and noticed Messi was about to pass that record.”
Of course, the record would have been a great end to an incredible year but Messi commented on the night he passed Muller’s figure that his sides win against Betis was more important.
Although Messi doesn’t officially hold the record his extraordinary year in which he has scored 58 times in La Liga, won the Golden Boot and become the first man to score five goals in a single Champions League game will live long in the memory. Messi’s father has since said that only a ‘catastrophe’ would lead to his son departing from the Camp Nou so there is certainly a lot of time for the 25 year old to break many more records in the years to come.
Messi’s Barcelona side beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 in a top of the tabe clash last night. An amazing Adriano strike cancelled out an early Atletico goal by Falcao and Busquets put Barca ahead going into the break. All that was left was for Messi to make an impact and of course, he delivered. Two second half goals put the game beyond doubt and took Messi to 90 goals to pass Zico. The win took the Catalan side nine points clear of Atletico and 13 points ahead of Real Madrid to take a commanding position at the top of La Liga.