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 Madrid335082
2Real Madrid336279
3Barcelona336578
4Athletic Bilbao332362
5Sevilla331456
6Villarreal331452
7Real Sociedad33651
8Valencia33044
9Espanyol33-541
10Levante33-1140
11Malaga33-838
12Celta Vigo33-1337
13Granada33-1637
14Rayo Vallecano33-3137
15Elche33-1735
16Osasuna33-2534
17Real Valladolid33-1832
18Getafe33-2231
19Almeria33-3030
20Real Betis33-3822