Gerd Muller record in touching distance for Lionel Messi

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Lionel Messi has edged a step closer to surpassing Gerd Muller's record goal haul in a calendar year, after the Argentine scored twice for Barcelona on Sunday evening.

Messi is now only three goals behind Muller, who scored 85 times for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972, having netted his 25th and 26th Barcelona goals of the season during the defeat of Levante.

Barcelona triumphed 4-0 thanks to Messi's double and a goal each for Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas, to increase their gap above La Liga champions Real Madrid to 11 points.

Messi now has 19 goals in 13 league appearances for Barcelona this term, while he is three strikes ahead of Muller's goalscoring schedule during the German legend's record-breaking campaign.

Barcelona have six games left in 2012 for Messi to score the four goals to see him overhaul Muller, and add yet another record to his ever increasing list of accolades.

Last term, Messi became the highest scorer in Barcelona's history, before ending the season with the most goals ever scored in a European season with 73 strikes.

Messi, 25, also notched a record season haul in La Liga with 50 goals, added to his 14 goals in the Champions League - the most scored in a single campaign.

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