Incredible Messi nears Muller record after double for Barcelona

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Lionel Messi is just two goals short of surpassing Gerd Muller's record haul of in a caledar year as he grabbed his 11th brace of the season in Barcelona's trouncing of Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou.

Messi scored Barcelona's second a fifth goals in a 5-1 rout of Atheltic to ensure Tito Vilanova's side posted the best ever start in the history of La Liga with 13 wins and one draw from their opening 14 fixtures.

Gerard Pique, Adriano and Cesc Fabregas also found the net for Barcelona, who are 11 points clear of reigning champions Real Madrid and six ahead of second-placed and Falcao inspired Atletico Madrid.

Messi, meanwhile, is within touching distance of surpassing Muller's record of 85 goals scored for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972, with the Barcelona superstar having found the next 84 times for club and country this year.

Barcelona have four games left this year for Messi to find just two goals and, given his record of scoring in pairs this season, the record could be broken in his next outing against Benfica.

Of Messi's 28 goals for Barcelona this term, 22 have been scored in pairs, while he also scored a hat-trick against Deportivo La Coruna, which means only three times has he ended a match with only one goal.

Ten of Messi's goals this season have come in his last five games for Barcelona - all of which have beenn braces.


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