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The Argentine attacker has once more added his name to the record books as he netted a hat-trick against Malaga to take his total for the season to 68

Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi has broken Gerd Muller's record of scoring the most goals in a European season after firing a hat-trick in the Liga encounter against Malaga at Camp Nou.

The Germany legend netted 67 times for Bayern Munich in the 1972-73 campaign, a feat that was not bettered until the Argentina international completed his treble in Catalunya on Wednesday.

The forward converted a spot kick in the 35th minute, then doubled his tally with another penalty at the hour mark to equal Muller, before netting his third in the 64th minute.

Messi started the season with a single goal in the 2-2 Spanish Supercopa draw against Real Madrid, and has since gone on to surpass numerous records.

The Argentina international already broke Barca's all-time official scoring record earlier in the campaign at the tender age of 24. Messi also became the first player in the Champions League era to score five goals in a single match, when he achieved the feat against Bayer Leverkusen on March 7, while joining Jose Altafini as the highest scorer in a single European Cup campaign with 14 strikes.

EUROPE'S TOP 10 GREATEST GOAL-SCORING SEASONS
PLAYER CLUB GOALS SEASON
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Barcelona
68 2011-12
Gerd Muller (West Germany)
Bayern Munich
67
1972-73
Ferenc Deak (Hungary)
Szentlorinc
66
1945-46
Gyula Zsengeller (Hungary)
Ujpest
65
1938-39
Dixie Dean (England)
Everton
63
1927-28
Jimmy McGrory (Scotland)
Celtic
62
1927-28
Refik Resmja (Albania)
Partizani Tirana
59
1950-51
Jimmy McGrory (Scotland)
Celtic
59
1926-27
Fred Roberts (Ireland)
Glentoran
59
1930-31
Ferenc Deak (Hungary)
Ferencvarosi
59
1948-49

The 24-year-old has netted 46 times in the Primera Division, 14 in the Champions League, three in the Spanish Supercup, twice in the Copa del Rey, twice in the Club World Cup, and once in the European Supercup.

Messi has three more opportunities to add to his tally this season, as Barca face Espanyol, Betis and Athletic Bilbao (Copa del Rey) in their last three games of the 2011-12 campaign.

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