LIONEL MESSI SET TO BE STRIPPED OF GOAL RECORD
13 December 2012
LIONEL MESSI may have his goal-scoring record stripped from him just days after breaking it – thanks to a player from Zambia.
The Zambian Football Association have said they will provide evidence to FIFA that Kabwe Warriors striker Godfrey Chitalu scored 107 goals in 1972.
Messi’s two goals at Real Betis on Sunday overtook Gerd Muller’s official 40-year-old record of 85 for a calendar year. Messi then took his tally to 88 with two against Cordoba last night but a Zambian spokesman said: “We have this record. We have commissioned an independent team locally to go back into the archives and record minute by minute each of those goals.
“We will then send that to CAF [Confederation of African Football] and FIFA so that we can show that, while Messi’s record is there, while Muller’s record is there, the actual record holder in terms of goals per calendar year is an African. It’s actually Godfrey Chitalu.” -
Godfrey Chitalu (22 October 1947 in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia – 27 April 1993 in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Gabon) was a Zambian footballer who is widely regarded as the greatest Zambian player ever as he holds his national team scoring record and was voted Zambian footballer of the year five times. As well, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African footballers of the past 50 years in 2006.
He is also famous for holding a record of 107 goals scored in the season 1972. However, Zambian researchers found out they were actually 116 throughout the calendar year. This includes 15 goals in CAF competitions, 91 goals in FAZ tournaments, 5 goals in friendly games, 3 goals in the NFL Trophy and 2 goals in the NFL Benevolent Fund Match. The research was presented in the year 2012 after Lionel Messi broke the alleged world record of Gerd Müller. Nevertheless, a FIFA spokesman declared that an official FIFA world record had never existed as they did not keep track of domestic competitions.
Upon retirement, Chitalu took to coaching and was in charge of the Zambia national team when the entire squad perished in a plane crash off the coast of Gabon on 27 April 1993.