Zambians question Messi mark

Zambians question Messi mark

LUSAKA - Agence France-Presse
Zambians question Messi mark

Barcelona's Argentinian striker Lionel Messi. EPA Photo

Zambia’s Godfrey Chitalu, not Argentina’s Lionel Messi nor Brazil’s Zico, scored most goals in a calendar year, local football bosses claimed yesterday.

Messi was credited with the new record after going better than German Gerd Müller’s best of 85 goals in 1972 with brace over Real Betis on Dec. 9, but Zambian researchers disagree.

“Godfrey Chitalu scored 49 goals in the league matches and 58 in cup and international matches between January 23 and December 10, 1972. The number of goals scored during this season goes to 107,” local commentator Musonda Chibulu said.

Chibulu and fellow researcher Jerry Muchimba compiled their proof from daily newspapers Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail, as well as the national archives.

The southern African nation’s football federation intend to try and get Chitalu’s tally ratified by football’s governing body.

Chitalu died with the whole national football team when their airplane crashed off the coast of Gabon in 1993 on the way to a World Cup qualifier in Senegal. He was head coach at the time.