Africa Football: Superman Messi nears Mueller goals record

Superstar Lionel Messi, having taken his 2012 goals tally to 80 in midweek, can close in on German great Gerd Mueller’s all-time record of 85 in a calendar year on Sunday.

The Argentinian had already surpassed Pele’s total of 75 goals in 1958 and a double at Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, when Barcelona secured their spot in the Champions League last 16, further boosted his hopes.

With his La Liga-leading side travelling to Levante on Sunday, Messi now has eight matches left before the Christmas break in which to break Mueller’s record of 85 goals in 1972.

“Everyone says I’m very competitive, I do plan my objectives year by year to keep improving and to win again all we have won before,” Messi said.

“I just like to train, play and win. I’ve been like that since I was young, but without my colleagues I would not achieve anything, they deserve all the credit.”

Levante will be a difficult place to go for Barca as Real Madrid can vouch after scraping a late 2-1 win there two weekends ago.

A 2-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna last weekend saw Levante move into a Champions League position in fourth, and in Obafemi Martins they have pace that Barca will be wary of.

The Nigerian ex-Newcastle and Inter Milan striker has hit five goals in eight league games this season since his summer move from Rubin Kazan.

Second-placed Atletico Madrid entertain Sevilla just before Barca play, knowing that a win will pile pressure on Messi and his team mates.

There are three points between the two sides who have both made record-breaking starts to the season.

Barca have dropped only two points to date in the 2-2 draw with Real Madrid, while Atletico have let just five slip.

The Argentinian had already surpassed Pele’s total of 75 goals in 1958 and a double at Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, when Barcelona secured their spot in the Champions League last 16, further boosted his hopes.

Meanwhile, chasing hard in third position, eight points behind Barca, is Real Madrid who goes to Real Betis on Saturday on the back of five straight league wins and Champions League qualification achieved with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City.


 

 

 

Africa Top Sports Team

ATS journalists team

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