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Lionel Messi breaks record for most goals in a year with 86

Messi scores twice for Barcelona to break the record set by Germany's Gerd Mueller in 1972.

December 09, 2012
  • FC Barcelona strike Lionel Messi gives the thumbs-up sign to a teammate during a 2-1 victory over Real Betis on Sunday. Messi scored both goals for Barcelona.
FC Barcelona strike Lionel Messi gives the thumbs-up sign to a teammate… (Julio Munoz / EPA )

Lionel Messi broke German great Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record for most goals in a year Sunday by scoring for the 86th time in 2012.

The Argentine forward scored twice to lead visting Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Real Betis in the Spanish league match in Barcelona, Spain.

Messi's first goal was an individual effort in the 16th minute to equal Mueller's mark, and he eclipsed the 1972 milestone with a familiar left-footed finish nine minutes later.

Messi has scored 74 goals for Barcelona and 12 times for Argentina this year, and he has three more games in which he can add to his tally before the end of the year. Mueller scored 85 for Bayern Munich and West Germany.

The 25-year-old Messi passed Brazil great Pele's single-season milestone of 75 goals for Brazil and Santos in 1958 with his 75th and 76th goals of the year on Nov. 11 to move into second place behind Mueller.

After his record 50 goals in the Spanish league last campaign, Messi has led Barcelona to the best start in the history of the championship this season with 14 wins and a draw after the opening 15 rounds. The scoring ace has found the net 30 times already this season in all competitions for Barcelona.


Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair birdied five of the last six holes to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Fla.

The 52-year-old Perry became the oldest player to win the Shootout, and also won for the third time with a different partner. He won with John Huston in 2005 and Scott Hoch in 2008. Perry joins Steve Elkington, Fred Couples, Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron with three Shootout wins; Elkington and Couples also won with three different partners.

Rory Sabbatini and Charles Howell III made a charge on the back nine that included an eagle on a par four but finished one stroke back at 30-under-par 186. They had a 15-under 57 in the scramble format in the final round on the Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club.


Scotland's Scott Jamieson won his first European Tour title, beating England's Steve Webster and Spain's Eduardo de la Riva in a playoff after the season-opening Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban, South Africa, was reduced to a 36-hole shootout because of rain.

Jamieson won with a par on the second playoff hole after Webster made a bogey. De la Riva was eliminated on the first extra hole as the three returned to play the par-four No. 18 until the first tournament on the 2013 Race to Dubai was decided.


Charl Schwartzel shot a seven-under 65 for the third time at the Thailand Golf Championship in Chon Buri, wrapping up a dominating victory by 11 shots.

Schwartzel led from the first round and never slowed down, finishing with a 25-under total of 263 at the Amata Spring Country Club for the South African's first victory since last year's Masters. This year's Masters winner Bubba Watson also shot a 65 to finish in a tie for second with Thai golfer Thitiphun Chuayprakong, who finished with a 70.


Nikita Kotlov scored off a header pass from Eriq Zavaleta midway through the second half to give Indiana a 1-0 victory over Georgetown to win the NCAA men's soccer championship in Hoover, Ala.


Olympic champion Kim Yuna completed her triumphant return to figure skating competition by winning the NRW Trophy in Dortmund, Germany, with the season's best total score.

Kim overcame one fall in an otherwise assured free skate to end her 19-month sabbatical with 201.61 points, including the 72.27 awarded for the season's best short program Saturday.

The 22-year-old South Korean was competing in the second-tier competition to secure a place at next year's world championships.

Russia's Xenia Makarova was second with 159.01 points, followed by Sweden's Viktoria Helgesson at 158.93.

Mao Asada of Japan reached the season's previous best of 196.80 when she won the Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia, on Saturday.


Indiana's top-ranked men's basketball team lost sophomore forward Austin Etherington for the rest of the season because of a fractured left kneecap.

Etherington was hurt late in the first half of a 100-69 victory Saturday over Central Connecticut State. After being called for a foul on the play, he stayed on the ground and was surrounded by teammates and coaches. He was lifted onto a stretcher and pointed to the crowd as he was wheeled off the court.

On Sunday, the team said Etherington had season-ending surgery. Etherington's playing time had steadily increased as the Hoosiers (9-0) moved through the nonconference schedule.


Representatives of the NHL and the players' association have been in contact and are trying to set something up to resume labor talks next week, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. Three days of talks last week ended Thursday, when the league rejected a counterproposal from the union. It's expected that the league will announce more cancellations soon, having previously cancelled games only through Dec. 14.

— Helene Elliott

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