Messi breaks record
LIONEL Messi broke the 39-year record for most goals in a single season in a major European league, scoring for the 68th time with a hat- trick on Wednesday to eclipse former Bayern Munich striker Gerd Mueller.
The Barcelona forward set the mark with his third goal in the 4-1 victory over Malaga in the Spanish league at the Nou Camp, surpassing the 67-goal mark Mueller set for Bayern during the 1972-73 season.
Andres Iniesta sent Messi clear into Malaga's half, and the Argentina forward chipped on-rushing goalkeeper Carlos Kameni before slotting the ball into the net to set the record.
Messi's ninth hat-trick of the season took his league total to 46 goals, also a record and two more than Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal forward scored in Real Madrid's 3-0 win at Athletic Bilbao later Wednesday that secured the league title for Barca's arch-rivals. He has scored 58 this season.
Messi's 34th-minute spot kick allowed him to match the 66-goal tallies by Pele for Brazilian club Santos in 1958 and Ferenc Deak for Hungarian team Ferencvaros in 1948-49.
Malaga midfielder Duda barged into Messi to set up his second successful penalty and match Mueller. He surpassed the former West Germany striker when Iniesta slipped a perfect long ball between defenders.
The 24-year-old has also set a Champions League season record with 14 goals, including a record five against Bayer Leverkusen in March.
He has scored three goals in the Spanish Super Cup, a pair in both the Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey, and once in the European Super Cup. Mueller scored 36 Bundesliga goals in 1972-73, 12 each in the European Cup and the German League Cup, and seven in the German Cup.