New information has emerged about the late Zambian striker Godfrey 'Ucar' Chitalu, whose 107 goals scored in 1972 has opened a debate about whether Leo Messi, who has scored 88 goals in 2012, holds the record for the most goals in a calendar year.
Zambian historian Jerry Muchimba has presented evidence to the Zambian Football Association (FAZ), which will in turn by passed on to FIFA, who will be asked to officially recognise Chitalu's record.
The information reveals that Chitalu did not score all his goals in official matches, but once the number of goals scored in friendlies are taken out, Chitalu's record still stands at 102 goals in 57 games, far superior to the efforts of Gerd Müller in the same year and Leo Messi in 2012, with the Argentine still needing to score a further 14 goals in the next two games to equal the Zambian's record.
Not even Zico, with his alledged 89 goals for Flamengo, comes close to Chitalu.
The breakdown of the goals, presented by Muchimba and published by the website 'Zambianfootball.co.zm', shows that Chitalu played 60 games in 1972, 50 with the Warriors, with whom he scored 95 goals in competitive games, and seven with Zambia, with whom he scored a further four goals, two in friendlies and two in World Cup Qualifiers for the 1974 World Cup in Germany, plus a further two games for Midlands, with whom he scored three goals to take his tally to 102.
The study was compiled by Jerry Muchimba and presented to the vicepresident of the FAZ, Boniface Mwamelo, on Wednesday.
Muchimba said: "This research was started over five years ago with the aim of putting straight our own Zambian football records, it's not targeted at Messi. In fact it's not just Ucar's record but there also statistics about other Zambian greats.
"This work has been undertaken over a long time. We have looked at the 1972 league games, local cup games, African inter club championships and Zambia national team games. We are not just looking at mere speculation. These matches were played and recorded and Ucar scored."
ZambianFootball's Musonda Chibulu, added: "The evidence we have can be verified by anybody. We've looked at records and reports of games in the Daily Mail (Zambian newspaper), Times of Zambia, national archives, University of Zambia archives and records kept by other historians which we have presented. We hope FAZ will get this record straight because there is no disputing Chitalu's goals. We know of it here and we've talked about it for years; now it's on paper.
"The rest of the football world needs to know this. Messi's record is there and we're not disputing it but it's only a European one. Chitalu's is there. It's Zambian and it's a world record and the world needs to know that. Further we want FIFA to give him a life time achievement award for those goals."