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Messi out to extend record
Lionel Messi carved another piece of history in his remarkable career on Sunday night by surpassing Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year.
The Barcelona star scored both of Barcelona's goals in a 2-1 win at Real Betis to beat the 40-year-old record.
"The record is great for what it means, but the most important thing is that the team won and that we maintained the distance with the teams behind us," Messi told the club's website. "When the year starts the objective is to win it all with the team, personal records are secondary."
But he added: "I'll try to score more goals to make it more difficult for the next player that tries to break it."
The 25-year-old drew level with Muller's mark after 16 minutes with a trademark diagonal run and left-foot finish. It took him just nine more minutes to take the record as his own. This time he profited from one of his chief assist-makers, Andres Iniesta, whose clever backheel found Messi in the merest of space only he needs to find the net with his left foot.
Barca coach Tito Vilanova said on his team's website: "We're pleased that Messi helped us out with his two goals and that he broke Muller's record.
"He still has three matches left this year, let's see if he can extend his record. We hope that he still has a lot left to give because he's still very young. He's a world-renowned star that has a series of attributes that make him nearly unrepeatable."
But the coach would not get drawn into speculating how many goals he might go on to score.
"We shouldn't heap more pressure on him," said Vilanova. "His record this year is absolutely brutal. Let's enjoy the moment and not focus on how many goals he might score in the future."
The Argentina international's goals also sent him clear of Cesar Rodriguez as Barcelona's all-time leading league goalscorer after they had been level on 192 before the match.