Spain hail record-breaking 'Missile Messi'
Madrid, Dec 10: Spain on Monday hailed Lionel "Missile" Messi's record-breaking 86-goal haul in 2012 and decreed Barcelona's "Messidependence" is a blessing.
The 25-year-old Argentine star smashed the 40-year-old record of German legend Gerd Mueller of 85 goals in a calendar year, with a first-half brace that sealed his side's 2-1 win in Seville at Real Betis.
"Missile Messi. Leo leaves Torpedo Muller behind with 86 goals in a year," cried the front page of Barcelona-based sports daily Sport.
"A Messi-anic victory," gushed the newspaper's columnist Josep Maria Casanovas of the Barca forward, who is also favourite to win a fourth player-of-the-year Ballon d'Or.
"We are lucky because we will always be able to say that we lived that wonderful year in which Messi scored 86 goals. It is a pleasure, a spectacle, a wonder to see the best player in the world in action," he said.
Barcelona-based sports daily Mundo Deportivo said the team were dependent on the Argentine striker after he pushed them into winning territory in a tough match against Betis.
"Messi played. And just as well. His two goals gave Barca victory over a proud Betis," the paper said, hailing his "stratospheric record" of goals scored in a calendar year.
"Is there an absolute 'Messidependence'?" asked the paper's columnist Javier Gascon. "Yes. And so what? Thanks to that Tito Vilanova's team is leader with 14 victories and a draw in 15 match days." Spain's biggest selling sports paper, Marca, agreed.
"Using the word 'Messidependence' has a certain negative connotation. As if Barcelona was not capable of winning games but for its star. But in Barca they take it as a blessing. Yesterday, it was," the paper said.
"Having the Ballon d'Or in their ranks has been an undeniable privilege in the past three years," the paper said. "To the contrary, using Leo and his ambition is very healthy when the going gets tough." AFP
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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