Messi breaks 40-year record with 86th goal of 2012

December 9, 2012 - 5:33 PM
Spain Barcelona Messi

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, attends a press conference during a promotional event at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Messi's collision with Benfica goalkeeper Artur late in Wednesday's Champions League match may only rule the Barcelona forward out for one match. Messi is trying to equal a 40-year-old scoring record held by Gerd Muller. He has scored 84 goals in 2012 and has four games to catch Mueller, who scored 85. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi has broken German great Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record for most goals in a year by scoring for the 86th time in 2012.

The Argentine forward scored twice Sunday, putting Barcelona ahead of Real Betis 2-0 by the 25th minute of the Spanish league match.

His first goal was an individual effort in the 16th minute to equal Mueller's record. He eclipsed the 1972 milestone with a familiar left-footed finish nine minutes later.

Messi has 74 goals for Barcelona and 12 for Argentina this year. Mueller scored 85 for Bayern Munich and West Germany.

Messi scored 73 times for Barcelona in the 2011-12 season, passing Mueller's mark of 67 goals for Bayern Munich in 1972-73. He also established a Spanish league record of 50 goals last season.

Messi is a finalist for the FIFA's world player of the year award.