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Lionel Messi's Breathtaking 2012 Will Never Be Replicated Again

Lionel Messi's Breathtaking 2012 Will Never Be Replicated Again

On this day eight years ago, Lionel Messi scored his 91st goal of 2012 and capped off the greatest year ever seen from a professional footballer.

Messi, just 25 years of age at the time, recorded the absurd tally in 69 games for club and country and topped it off with one final strike in Barcelona's 3-1 victory at Real Valladolid.

79 of his goals came in Blaugrana colours, with the remaining 12 coming in nine international fixtures he played in for Argentina.

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He broke the previous world record of 85 goals in a calendar year set by Germany and Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller 40 years prior.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner notched 13 goals in 12 Champions League appearances, including five-goal and four-goal hauls against Bayer Leverkusen and Arsenal respectively, as well as five goals in eight Copa del Rey games, two goals in two Supercopa ties and 59 goals in 38 La Liga games.

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Breaking it down further, Messi scored 14 penalties, hit nine hat-tricks, averaged a goal every 66 minutes and scored the opening goal in 21 of the 47 games he found the net in.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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78 of his 91 goals were scored inside the penalty area, with 40 of his tally coming in the final half hour of games.

Messi's magical 2012 will never, ever be repeated again. He scored more goals than Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Chelsea.

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To add further context to this outrageous goal tally, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski have scored 91 goals between them in 80 games in 2020.

Messi, who deservedly won his fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or award, also registered 29 assists for his teammates in a truly astonishing year.

And to think there's people out there who believe he's not the best player to have ever played football.

Topics: Football News, FC Barcelona, Football, Lionel Messi, Argentina

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.