The forward scored 91 goals in 2012 and broke the ex-Germany international's long-standing record, before issuing a personal tribute to the former striker
The Argentina captain - who was recently awarded the Ballon d'Or for the fourth year in succession - racked up 91 goals in 2012, six more than the total achieved by Muller for club and country in 1972.
Having broken new ground with his tally, Messi acted quickly in sending a Barcelona home shirt to the former Germany international with the player's name and number emblazoned on the back.
"For Gerd Muller, my respect and admiration, and a hug," the Argentine wrote on the shirt.
Club president Sandro Rosell also sent Bayern counterpart Karl-Heinz Rummenigge a letter expressing his recognition of Muller and the previous milestone, noting the record “was clearly an added motivation and target for Messi."