Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Messi Passes Pele


Lionel Messi surpassed Pele's milestone of goals in a calendar year by scoring for the 75th and 76th time in 2012 to move within nine of Gerd Mueller's all-time record as Barcelona won 4-2 at Mallorca in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Barcelona was rolling 3-0 at the break thanks to goals from Xavi, Messi and Cristian Tello. But Mallorca scored twice in four second-half minutes through Michael Pereira and a Victor Casadesus penalty but Messi struck to bring Mallorca's comeback to a halt.

Messi was influential from the outset, forcing Dudu Aouate to intercept his cross from Xavi's free kick from the right.  Dani Alves' 20-yard shot was also repelled by the keeper.

"Leo's records are spectacular," Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova said. "It's spectacular when you think that he scores so many goals. Some few players reach these numbers in seven or eight seasons, he does it in one. And most of his goals are great goals."

This is the latest scoring feat for the Argentine forward. He scored 73 goals in the 2011-12 season for Barcelona, breaking the European club record of 67 goals set by Mueller in 1972-73. He also set a Spanish league record of 50 goals last season and broke Cesar Rodriguez's 57-year milestone of 232 goals to become Barcelona's career scoring leader.

Barcelona's 10th win in 11 rounds extended its club-record start and maintained an 8-point gap over third-place Madrid after its 2-1 victory over Levante. Second-place Atletico Madrid remained three points behind the leaders after its 2-0 win over Getafe.