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Whose record is it anyway?

The Guardian  Lusaka, December 12, 2012
First Published: 22:51 IST(12/12/2012) | Last Updated: 22:53 IST(12/12/2012)

Zambia's Football Association is planning an official challenge to Lionel Messi's record for the most goals scored in a calendar year - claiming the Barcelona forward's tally of 86 was beaten in 1972.


Messi's two goals at Real Betis on Sunday took him past Gerd Mueller's officially recognised 40-year-old record of 85.

However, the Zambian FA told NewsDay Zimbabwe that they would present evidence to Fifa to show that the Kabwe Warriors striker Godfrey Chitalu, who won Zambia's player of the year award five times, scored 107 goals in 1972. "We have this record  in Zambian football, but unfortunately it has not been recorded in world football," a Zambia FA spokesperson said. "Even as the world has been looking at Messi's record, breaking Mueller's, the debate and discussion back here has been why Godfrey's goals are not being recognised.

"What we are doing is, we have commissioned an independent team locally to go back into the archives and record minute-by-minute each of those goals.  "The team that we have put together is going to calculate all of those goals, recording whichever game or tournament they were scored in.

"We will send that to Fifa so that we can show that, while Messi's record is there, while Müller's record is there, the actual record holder in terms of goals per calendar year is actually an African." Chitalu died in 1993 when a plane carrying the team crashed near Gabon.

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