The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Dec 15, 2012
 

Fifa can't verify claims over Messi's goal-scoring record

 
 

PARIS (AFP) - World football's governing body on Friday said that they were unable to check whether claims that an African footballer and not Argentina star Lionel Messi was the record holder for the most goals scored in a calendar year.

"Thanks for the questions about Godfrey Chitalu. Our official stats are limited to FIFA competitions, so we cannot verify this 'record'," Fifa's communications department said on its Twitter account @fifamedia.

"We keep records for all Fifa competitions," it added. Barcelona forward Messi was hailed by many as the greatest player ever in the game after he scored twice on Sunday to beat the 40-year-old record of Germany's Gerd Mueller and take his tally to 86 for 2012.

But claims emerged on Thursday that he may still in fact be well short of Zambia legend Chitalu, who netted 107 times - 49 in league matches for Kabwe Warriors and 58 in cup and internationals - between January 23 and December 10, 1972.