Another game and Leo Messi continues to accumulate records and statistics that don't just appear to come from another era, but from another planet. The Argentinean was decisive in Barcelona's victory over Zaragoza (3-1) with two goals and an assist, and heads the top scorers table with 17 goals in 12 games, a quite remarkable figure, given that 14, yes 14, of the teams in the first division are yet to reach that number. No player has scored that number in 12 games since César did it, back in 1948.
With his two goals last night, Messi equalled Santillana as the ninth top scorer in the league's history, and by scoring a brace, his seventh of the league (he's also hit a hat-trick), he's overtaken a certain Alfredo di Stefano, and is now the player with the second highest number of braces in the history of the top flight. In total he's scored 55, though still some way off the number one, Zarra, who managed 76.
Messi, who has now scored 13 goals against Zaragoza in 13 games, has notched 28 goals and 5 assists in the 24 games he's played for club and country this season. In the calendar year 2012 he has hit the back of the net a quite staggering 77 times (as well as providing the killer pass 27 times). Müller's record of 85 goals in the calendar year 1972 is a little closer to the Argentine wizard. In total he has struck 274 times for Barcelona. But not only is he a goal machine, he's an efficient goal machine: in order to rack up his 17 goals this season, he has only needed 35 shots...