Team success is more important than Muller's record, says Messi

The Argentine star scored two more goals after a brilliant display ensured three points for the Spanish giants in Europe, but he isn't caught up by the hype over his record chase.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has insisted that his focus remains with his team's ambitions, rather than equalling German great Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year.

The Argentine star scored twice as the Blaugrana beat Spartak Moscow 3-0 on Tuesday, taking his 2012 tally to 80 goals, but he said that winning trophies remains his priority.

"We knew we had to start strong today, to avoid what happened against Celtic," Messi told reporters. "It wasn't easy on this pitch, but we did well. It was important not to concede tonight, for all of us.

"Muller's record? The team are more important, in the second half we preferred to keep control."

Barca coach Tito Vilanova was also upbeat after his team's win in Russia, and he maintained that Messi plays for the team as a whole, not as an individual chasing a record.

"Messi getting closer to Muller's record? Messi doesn't play to break records, he plays to help the team to win," Vilanova said. "It's the same every game. His ambition, his motivation to score, to help the team ... tactically he is a very complete player.

"We played in a very vital game. The players adapted well to the artificial pitch and the cold. It was important not to concede, but sometimes it just depends on the opponents' finishing. Celtic had fewer shots than Spartak.

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