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Who has scored the most goals in a calendar year? From Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to Muller and Pele

13:00 BST 14/10/2022
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Who has scored the most goals in a single calendar year?

With Erling Haaland scoring goals for fun at Manchester City in the early stages of the 2022-23 campaign, it's inevitable that people start looking at the records the Norwegian superstar could potentially break.

There's Premier League records, Champions League records, Manchester City club records.

And then there's the somewhat random record of most goals scored in one calendar year.

In fact, it's not a record that's been officially recognised by Fifa, yet is still a record most die-hard football fans will be well aware of.

And that's all down to Lionel Messi's insane 2012, during which he scored an impressive 91 times, with the Guinness Book of World Records formally recognising the Argentina star's achievement.

Messi scored a fantastic 79 times for Barcelona, while adding another 12 for the national team.

The previous record holder was Bayern Munich and Germany icon Gerd Muller on 85 goals, with Pele completing the podium on 75 strikes.

The inevitable Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself back in the top 10 with three different entries, having found the net 69 times in 2013 as his personal best.

So while Haaland is certainly on an impressive run in 2022, he does have his work cut out for him if he aims to catch Messi this year already!

Top 10 most goals scored in one calendar year

Player

Goals scored

Calendar year

Lionel Messi

91

2012

Gerd Muller

85

1972

Pele

75

1958

Pele

72

1965

Zico

72

1979

Romario

72

2000

Robert Lewandowski

69

2021

Cristiano Ronaldo

69

2013

Cristiano Ronaldo

63

2012

Cristiano Ronaldo

61

2014