Lionel Messi Sets Record for Most Goals in a Calendar Year

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIDecember 9, 2012

Lionel Messi’s legend continues to grow, as he now owns the record for most goals in a calendar year with 86.

Sky Sports noted the record via Twitter:

MESSI UPDATE: Lionel Messi scores again for Barcelona against Real Betis to BREAK Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year #SSN

— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 9, 2012

Messi entered Barcelona’s La Liga fixture with 84 goals, and within 25 minutes, he had broken Gerd Müller’s record.

Both goals screamed class.

The first came in the 16th minute. The Argentine received the ball on the right side of the pitch outside the penalty box then cut across and through the Betis back line before slotting the ball past opposing goalkeeper Adrian.

Just nine minutes later, Messi was the beneficiary of a clever back pass from Andres Iniesta, and he showed no hesitation with his history-making finish.

This is the second time that Messi has had a multi-goal performance to break one of Muller’s records. Last May, he surpassed the German’s mark for goals in a European season with a hat trick over Malaga.

The 25-year-old’s record-breaking run started in the middle of last season. He finished the 2011-12 campaign with 73 goals for the Catalan giants. His form has continued into 2012-13 and has arguably improved. 

With 28 goals for his club, he has kept up his torrid goal-scoring pace and helped Barcelona to the top of the table. Barça is the only La Liga side yet to lose a league fixture.

This latest accomplishment solidifies Messi's status as the greatest player of his generation. His creativity, skill and pace are only overshadowed by his production, and he is continuing his path toward going down as the greatest footballer ever.