Step aside, Gerd Müller. Lionel Messi has struck down a record that was previously thought to be truly untouchable, Müller's record for goals in one calendar year in all professional matches, for club or country.
With his two goals in the first 25 minutes of Barcelona's league match against Real Betis, Messi struck twice to get to 86 goals on the season, breaking Müller's record of 85 goals in a year. Astonishingly, he's completed the feat with three matches left to play in December. Messi also picked up a knee bruise in Champions League action on Wednesday, and was expected to rest in this match until Saturday, when it was announced that he would play.
The goal was scored on a brilliant give-and go move with Andres Iniesta, who flicked the ball backwards to Messi, setting him up with a fairly simple finish. Because he's Messi, he placed it perfectly to the back post.
Müller completed the feat with Bayern Munich and West Germany, and his goals contributed to Bayern winning the 1972 and 1973 Bundesliga titles, while he won Euro '72 with West Germany. He played in a comparable number of matches, participating in slightly fewer cup and European matches, but more international matches than Messi over his calendar year.
Sunday's two goals also tied Messi for the most goals in La Liga for Barcelona, with Cesar Rodriguez, and he should be breaking that record soon enough.