Messi passes Pele's goals in 1 year

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

BARCELONA

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.

Xavi Her­nan­dez un­locked Mal­lorca's de­fense with a free kick in the 28th minute be­fore Messi struck in the 44th. Cris­tian Tello added a third goal a minute later at Iberostar sta­dium. Af­ter Mal­lorca net­ted twice early in the sec­ond half to breathe life into the match, Messi stepped up to score again the 70th to en­sure vic­tory as Barcelona re­bounded from its loss at Celtic in the Cham­pi­ons League with its 10th win in 11 rounds.

"Leo's records are spec­tac­u­lar" said Barcelona coach Tito Vi­lanova. "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 Ar­gentina for­ward, one of the lead­ing can­di­dates for the Bal­lon D'Or. Messi scored 73 goals in the 2011-12 sea­son for Barcelona, break­ing the pre­vi­ous Euro­pean club record of 67 goals set by Mueller in 197273. 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 all-time lead­ing scorer.

Also, sec­ond-place Atletico Madrid stayed three points be­hind the pace­set­ters by eas­ing past vis­it­ing Getafe 2-0 thanks to goals by Adrian Lopez and Arda Tu­ran. Joaquin Ca­parros' Mal­lorca tried to fol­low Celtic's de­fen­sive blue­print from Wed­nes­day's up­set in Glas­gow.

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