Messi sets record with 44 La Liga goals in a calendar year

MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi continued his goalscoring feat in 2012 as the Barcelona forward set a new La Liga scoring record in a calendar year on Saturday.

Messi, who scored twice in Barcelona’s comfortable 5-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night, has now netted 44 goals in a calendar year, the most in La Liga history.

The Argentina captain improved the previous record set by Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 43 goals in 2011.

Messi also went past the 300 goal mark at the senior level of his lively football career – scoring 270 for his club Barcelona and 31 for his country Argentina.

The little maestro has now improved his goal tally in 2012 to 73 and is not too far off the overall record for a calendar year. He has now scored 13 goals in La Liga this season and is the leading scorer in that area at the moment.

Barcelona sustained its lead at the top of La Liga with the spanking 5-0 victory on the road.

Besides Messi, David Villa and Xavi were also on the scoring sheet.

Their fellow Spain teammate Cesc Fabregas was also a scorer.

Barcelona scored four of its five goals in the second half and is now 25 points on the season – three more than second place Atlético Madrid, which has a game in hand.

Defending champions Real Madrid plays on Sunday and need a win as the team is currently 5th with 14 points.

Atletico Madrid will host Osasuna and Real Madrid take on Mallorca on Sunday.

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