Messi tops Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year

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Now it's official: Lionel Messi is the greatest goalscorer the game has ever seen
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Now it's official: Lionel Messi is the greatest goalscorer the game has ever seen
Updated Dec. 9, 2012 at 3:29 ET.

Lionel Messi has matched and topped Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year.

The Barcelona man pulled even with his first goal against Betis on Sunday night and then pushed past the prolific Germany with his second, meaning he had notched up the tally in 66 games.

It took Muller just 60 appearances to set the previous record in 1972.

The Argentine started 2012 with two goals against Osasuna in the Copa del Rey, and regularly notched up doubles and trebles throughout the year for both club and country.

Heading into the night he had scored exactly two goals on 20 occasions, and at least three strikes nine times, including a five-goal haul against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.

Muller hit 42 Bundesliga goals in 34 outings to fire Bayern Munich to the German title in 1971-72 and eventually 1972-73, and he also played an integral role in West Germany's European Championship victory. He scored five goals in the four finals games it took die Mannschaft to lift the trophy under the old format.

Muller was also boosted by Bayern's run of 21 matches in 37 days during the traditional preseason period. Due to the summer Olympics that year, the German domestic football season was pushed back until September 16, so a new competition - the DFB-Ligapokal (League Cup) - was hastily introduced to ward off rustiness.

Muller scored 12 goals in five games in that maiden campaign, while he scored 10 goals against Galatasaray and Omonia Nicosia in the opening stages of the old European Cup.

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