Lionel Messi has broken German great Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record for most goals in a single year by scoring for the 86th time in 2012.
The Argentina forward scored twice as Barcelona led 2-0 against Real Betis by the 25th minute of the Spanish league match on Sunday.
first was an individual effort in the 16th minute to equal Mueller's record, and he eclipsed the 1972 feat with a familiar left-footed finish nine minutes later.
Messi has scored 74 goals for Barcelona and 12 times 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 milestone 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.
This combo of two file photographs shows at top; FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, scoring his second goal against Zaragoza during a Spanish La Liga soccer match in Barcelona, Spain, and at bottom; a June 18, 1972 file photo of Gerd Mueller, left, of West Germany, scoring a goal against the Soviet Union in the Heysel Stadium, in Brussels. Messi scored his 86th goal during the Spanish league game with Betis beating the current record of most goals scored within one calendar year, previously held by former German striker Gerd Mueller. (AP Photo)