With seven weeks to spare, Lionel Messi surpassed Pele’s personal best of 75 goals in a calendar year when he scored two goals against Mallorca on Sunday. The Argentina and FC Barcelona striker is now nine goals away from breaking the all-time record for goals scored in a calendar year, set by Bayern Munich and West Germany legend Gerd Mueller in 1972.
Football Espana’s Frank Tigani thinks the odds are pretty good that Messi will break the record. In his last seven games for Barcelona, Messi has scored 11 times. He now has 11 games left this year -- nine for Barcelona and two for Argentina—to surpass Mueller.
Even if he doesn’t, Tigani says, Messi’s stats are “ridiculous.” He has scored 76 total goals in 59 games played in 2012, a goals-per-game ratio of over 1.2. In La Liga alone, he has 65 goals in his last 46 matches, or a goals-per-game of 1.4.
If Messi does manage to eclipse Mueller’s record by the end of December, it will be just another in a long and growing line of records the little Argentine has set, all before he’s turned 26 years old.