Statisticians salute Messi

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics have named Lionel Messi the world's best scorer in 2012.

The IFHHS only take into account goals scored for international teams or in continental competitions.

Messi tops the ranking with 12 goals for Argentina, and another 11 for Barcelona in the Champions League.

His closest contenders were Neymar, with 21 for Brazil and for Santos in the Copa Libertadores, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao, who all had a total of 17.

It is yet more individual recognition for the 25-year-old, who recently won the European Golden Boot and is a strong favourite to lift the Ballon d'Or once again. 

Tags Argentina IFFHS Messi Neymar Ronaldo