The 25-year-old Argentinean slotted two goals for Barca in a 2-1 win against Real Betis on Sunday to add to his tally for club and country.

He is now surely a clear favourite to take out the Fifa World Player of the Year award for the fourth time ahead of the other two finalists, teammate Andreas Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi took just 25 minutes yesterday to reach 86 goals for the year.

Messi was stretched off the field in Wednesday’s Champions League match against Benfica, leaving fears his chance at breaking the record was over.

He has scored 74 goals for Barcelona and 12 for Argentina in his 66 games this year and has two league matches and a King’s Cup clash to go before January 1, 2013.

“I always say the same, it’s nice for what it means but the victory is more important as it maintains our lead over the other teams,” Messi said to Spanish TV station Canal Plus in his trademark understated manner.

“My goal when the year began was to try to achieve everything again, with the team, in the league, the (King’s) Cup, the Champions League. I always start with that idea in mind.”

Mueller’s record was set scoring 72 goals for Bayern Munich and 13 for West Germany.

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