Lionel Messi breaks Gerd Muller's goalscoring record

Lionel Messi
© PA Photos
Lionel Messi breaks Gerd Muller's record of goals in a single season after a hat-trick against Malaga brought his tally up to 68.

Lionel Messi has broken Gerd Muller's record for the number of goals in a single season after netting a hat-trick against Malaga.

Messi's total now stands at 68 goals in all competitions, one more than the 67 Muller managed for Bayern Munich in the 1972-3 season.

The Argentine's first goal, a penalty, equalled Pele's Santos record of 66 set in 1958 before another spot kick drew him level with Muller. Messi finally broke the record in the 64th minute with Barcelona's fourth of the game.

The third goal was also Messi's 46th league goal of the season, making him the highest-scoring player in a single league season in any of the top five European divisions since Tom Waring netted 49 times for Aston Villa in the 1930-1931 season.

The hat-trick goal also brought up a hat-trick of records, as Messi equalled Cristiano Ronaldo's tally of seven hat-tricks in a single season, also set this year.

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Tables
TeamPGDPTS
1Atletico Madrid385190
2Barcelona386787
3Real Madrid386687
4Athletic Bilbao382770
5Sevilla381763
6Villarreal381659
7Real Sociedad38759
8Valencia38-249
9Celta Vigo38-549
10Levante38-848
11Malaga38-745
12Rayo Vallecano38-3443
13Espanyol38-942
14Getafe38-1942
15Granada38-2541
16Elche38-2040
17Almeria38-2840
18Cordoba000
19Deportivo La Coruna000
20Eibar000