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Prolific Barca On Target For Goalscoring Record

  • Times, Monday, February 9, 2009 3 PM
Averaging just over three goals per game, Barcelona is scoring "at a rate not seen in a big (or even small) European league in years," writes Gabriele Marcotti. If Barcelona continues at this rate, it will finish with 118 league goals, shattering the previous La Liga record held by the 1989-90 Real Madrid side, when Hugo Sanchez scored 38 times.
 
It would also be higher than the all-time single-season record goalscorer in England (Aston Villa in 1930-31, who scored 128 in 42 games), Germany (Bayern Munich in 1971-72, who scored 101 in 34) and equal to that in France (Paris in 1959-60, with 118 in 38). The only team it would fail to outperform would be the 1947-48 Torino side, led by Valentino Mazzola, a team that was tragically killed in an air crash a year later but that had scored 125 goals in 40 league matches at a rate of 3.13 per game.
 
"What is remarkable about [coach Pep] Guardiola's Barcelona is how they seem to defy so much of the conventional wisdom of modern-day football," writes Marcotti. It has a comparatively tiny squad, but that roster has depth and attacking talent in Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o, Thierry Henry and Bojan Krkic. Right back Daniel Alves is "a winger in disguise at a time when conventional wisdom would suggest that if you employ three strikers, you need full backs who can defend." Defender Gerard Pique, a lost cause at Manchester United, will debut for Spain on Wednesday, as will home-grown Sergio Busquets, just 20 years old. The team is setting records and "doing it in their own distinct way, ignoring the perceived wisdom."

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