Lionel Messi’s brace in Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Mallorca in Spanish La Liga has taken him to 72 goals for the calendar year, one better than Pele’s mark.
Xavi Hernandez, Messi and Cristian Tello scored first-half goals for the Catalans before Victor Casadesus and Michael Pereira reduced the lead after the interval.
Messi then netted his fifteenth in the league so far to wrap up the game and make it 76 goals in 2012.
The Argentinean star beat Pele’s tally of 75 from 1958. With six La Liga and two Champions League games left until the end of 2012 he is within nine goals of Gerd Muller’s all time record total of 85 set in 1972.
“Leo`s records are spectacular,” Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova commented after the game.
“It`s spectacular when you think that he scores so many goals. Some few players reach these numbers in seven or eight seasons, he does it in one. And most of his goals are great goals.”