Leo Messi notched his 85th and 86th goals of the calendar year Sunday in Barcelona’s 2-1 victory over Real Betis, tying and breaking Gerd Muller’s 85-goal single-year record set back in 1972. Here are highlights of that, plus the 84 goals that came before them. Get ready for a 10 minutes well spent.
Messi’s journey began on January 4th with two goals against Osasuna, and 340 days later, Leo has made soccer history. Better yet, Muller is being a total sport about it. It helps that Messi is an all-around good, likeable, guy, but this is as classy as someone whose hallowed, 40-year-old record was just broken can get (via ESPN.com):
“My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in 60 games – and now the best player in the world has broken it, and I’m delighted for him. He is an incredible player, gigantic,” Muller told Sport1.de.
Muller’s record as Germany’s top goalscorer may also be surpassed by Miroslav Klose, but the former striker says that he, for the moment, is focused only on how many goals Messi can score this year.
“He’s such a nice and modest professional and I hope he gets one or two more goals in 2012 and that he can then hold onto the record for the next 40 years,” he added.
“He’s fantastic. He only has one defect and that is that he doesn’t play for Bayern Munich!”
Congrats again to Messi. Amazingly, the best footballer in the world is just 25 years old. Muller turned 27 the year he set the record, so there’s no telling if or when Messi could top his own mark, but there is absolutely no ruling it out.
[h/t The Big Lead, Getty Images]