MUNICH: Barcelona great Lionel Messi's new mark of 86 goals in a calendar year could last another 40 years, previous record holder Gerd Mueller said.
The 25-year-old forward reached another milestone in his phenomenal career with a La Liga double in Sunday's 2-1 win at Real Betis, beating former West Germany striker Mueller's 1972 tally of 85.
"I hope he scores a few more in the remaining matches of 2012 so that his record stands for another 40 years," Mueller said in a statement issued through Bayern Munich where he works as a youth coach.
"My record has stood for 40 years — 85 goals in 60 matches," he said. "Now the world's best player, Lionel Messi, has broken it and I am happy for him.
"Messi is an unbelievable player, a giant while also being a pleasant and rather reserved professional. Messi is fantastic - he has only one fault, he does not play for FC Bayern."