Lionel Messi says breaking Pele’s record for most goals scored in a calendar year pales into insignificance compared to securing team success.
The Barcelona striker netted his 72nd and 73rd strikes of 2012 against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, bringing him within touching distance of the Brazilian and Gerd Mueller’s historic tallies of 75 and 85 goals respectively.
“Breaking Pele’s record is the least I’m worried about,” he told reporters. “We won at a difficult ground, and that was the most important thing.
The 25-year-old will collect his Golden Boot on Monday, after he finished last season as top scorer in Europe.
“I want to thank my team-mates, without them I wouldn’t have been able to win the prize,” he said.
Another Barca player to get his name on the scoresheet, Cesc Fabregas, believes his team’s 5-0 mauling of Rayo was their finest display of the season.
“This was the best game of the season,” he said. “We are really happy with the excellent work we produced tonight in an intense encounter.
“We played really well in the second half. We knew we were going to suffer in front of the Rayo supporters, but it was a real party after our second goal, when we imposed ourselves.”