Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova says he is astonished at Lionel Messi’s scoring ratio with Los Azulgranas.
The Argentine was on the mark twice in Barca’s 4-2 victory over Real Mallorca at the weekend and has now overtaken Pele’s record for the number of goals scored in a year.
Messi now has 76 goals in 2012, surpassing the Brazilian’s record set in 1958, and Vilanova says he never ceases to be amazed at La Pulga’s ability to find the back of the net.
“The number of goals he has scored is spectacular and I am astonished. There have been some great, great players who have taken seven or eight years to do what he has done in just one,” he told a Press conference.”
On the Mallorca game, Tito acknowledged that the fact Barca failed to keep a clean sheet once again was a particular source of discontent.
“We played well in the first half and had the game under control, but at 3-0 maybe we relaxed a little and the slightest mistake cost us a goal, although when we got a fourth it was all over.
“Nonetheless, we compensated for the goals conceded with the goals we scored.”
Despite criticism in some quarters after the Champions League defeat to Celtic that Barca do not know how to alter their style, Vilanova was unrepentant.
“Inside Plan A we also have a Plan B and C, because we don’t always have to play the same way.
“Sometimes we need to have our wingers even wider and get our full-backs pushing on, but we believe we always have what it takes to win,” he insisted.
Play and compete for prizes in the world's most entertaining Fantasy Football Game. Select your favourite players from Europe's top 5 leagues, including Messi, Ronaldo, David Silva and Pepe Reina.