12 matches for Messi to make more history
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has 12 matches to beat Gerd Muller record
At just 25-years-old, Lionel Messi has already established himself as a legend of football and, in the eyes of some, the Barcelona star is the greatest to have ever played the game.
Last term saw Messi eclipse some of the finest to ever play for Barcelona when he became the club's record scorer, while the campaign ended with the Argentine registering the most potent season ever in European football.
Although records and accolades mean little to the humble superstar at this stage in his career, he could be forgiven for becoming distracted by another record very much within his grasp.
Should Messi score another 15 goals before the end of 2012, he will surpass Gerd Muller's 40 year record for the most strikes scored in a calendar year.
Messi has already found the net on 71 occasions for Argentina and Barcelona this year, and has another 12 matches for the latter before the year is out in which to surpass Muller.
Next in Messi's sights, however, is Brazilian legend Pele - who scored 75 times for Brazil and Santos in 1959 - who GMF boldly suggested may have his haul beaten by the Barcelona star in Tuesday's encounter with Celtic.
Neil Lennon's side, however, put in a valiant display at the Camp Nou as Barcelona won only courtesy of a last minute winner from Jordi Alba, after Andres Iniesta had cancelled out a strike from Georgios Samaras.
After missing out on the opportunity to fill his boots against Celtic, Messi now has a dozen encounters this year to move past Pele and Muller - a feat he can manage with some ease.
Messi has scored 12 goals in eight appearances for Argentina this year and 59 in 41 games for Barcelona - including 15 this season alone - and can further highlight his credentials in the best player ever debate before the end of the year.
And with a trip to Rayo Vallecano - La Liga's leakiest side this season - a home game against promoted Celta Vigo and a trip to Celtic on the horizon for Barcelona, Messi could even break new ground in goalscoring history before the middle of November.