Zambian Watchdog

Even Zico scored more than Lionel Messi, says Brazil

December 13
06:15 2012

Brazilian club Flamengo may challenge Lionel Messi’s calendar year record, saying that former Brazil captain Arthur Antunes Coimbra, nicknamed  ‘Zico’ scored 89 goals in 1979.

Barcelona’s Messi scored his 87th and 88th goals of the year in Wednesday’s King’s Cup last-16 first leg at Cordoba having thought he had broken Gerd Mueller’s 1972 record of 85 on Sunday.

“We are upset.  Messi still hasn’t passed the milestone,” Bruno Lucena, head of Flamengo’s research and statistics department, told Brazilian sports daily Lance.

Lucena calculated that Zico scored 81 goals for Flamengo in 1979, plus another seven for Brazil and one in a friendly between Argentina and a Rest of the World XI.

He added that Zico missed two months of the season through injury between September and November.

“If he had played for the whole year, he would have scored more than 100 goals,” he said.

Lance produced a list of goals scored by Zico in 1979. According to the statistics, he hit six goals in a game on two occasions, four goals in a game once and five hat-tricks.

The Zambia Football Association on Wednesday said it will present evidence to show FIFA that Kabwe Warriors striker Godfrey Chitalu scored 107 goals in 1972, thus beating Lionel Messi’s mark for most goals scored in a calendar year, according to reports.

“We have this record, which has been recorded in Zambian football, but unfortunately it has not been recorded in world football,” a Zambia FA spokesperson told the Zambian website Soccer Laduma. “Even as the world has been looking at Lionel Messi’s record, breaking Gerd Müller’s, the debate and discussion back here has been why Godfrey’s goals are not being recognised.”

The spokesperson said the Zambia FA has commissioned an independent team to “go back into the archives and record minute-by-minute each of those goals,” to appeal to the Confederation of African Football and FIFA, according to a report published in The Guardian.

Chitalu, played for Zambia’s national team, before becoming a national coach. He died in 1993 when a plane carrying the team crashed near Gabon.

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