Messi edges nearer to Mueller’s record – Barcelona equal Real’s record for best start
Lionel Messi edged nearer to Gerd Mueller's record by scoring a brace in Barcelona’s 4-0 victory over Levante. The Catalan football giants remain on top of La Liga thanks to a three-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Andres Iniesta assisted Lionel Messi on both goals. The Spanish midfielder later added one to his tally as well before providing another assist – this time to Cesc Fabregas.
Two more goals from Lionel Messi takes the Argentinean football prodigy to 82 goals in 2012. This means Lionel Messi is now just six goals away from breaking Gerd Mueller’s record for the most goals scored in a calendar year.
The legendary German striker scored 85 goals in 1972 to make his record. Earlier in the season, Lionel Messi broke Pele’s record of 75 goals in a calendar year.
Lionel Messi, who is the hot-favorite for the Ballon d’Or once again, is the leading goal scorer in La Liga. The 25-year-old has scored 19 goals in 13 appearances in the league. Overall, Lionel Messi has scored 26 goals in 20 appearances for Barcelona this season.
In spite of dominating the league, Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova believes La Liga has become more competitive in recent years. Last season, Real Madrid won the league with Barcelona coming second. No other team was even close to fight for the title.
This season has been a very different story. Barcelona is being hounded by Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Malaga. All three teams are still in contention for the La Liga title. It appears as if La Liga’s two-horse might finally end this season.
Tito Vilanova believes Barcelona is not a one man team, yet the manager understands Lionel Messi’s goal–scoring form is exactly what Barcelona needs to win the league.
Atletico Madrid grabbed a 4-0 victory over Sevilla to cement their second-place over derby rivals Real Madrid. The defending champions, who lost 1-0 to Betis on Saturday, are still placed third in La Liga.
“The league is not over, we're only a third through and Atletico are three points behind us. There is a lot to play for. We have been 11 ahead of Madrid before and we suffered a lot in the end,” Tito Vilanova said.
Barcelona superb start to the season has seen the Spanish football powerhouse equal Real Madrid’s record for the best start to a La Liga season set in 1991-92.