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Vilanova: Messi made it look easy

The Blaugrana boss preferred to highlight the collective benefits of the Argentine's two goals at the weekend, while his teammates paid tribute to his incredible haul

Tito Vilanova has hailed Lionel Messi for making his record-breaking exploits look easy following Barcelona's 2-1 win over Betis on Sunday.

The 25-year-old netted twice at the Benito Villamarin to break Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year. But though it is a feat that has delighted his coach, the Blaugrana boss does not want his team's performance to be neglected.

"I am happy with all my players," he told reporters. "We have always given our best.

"We are happy that [Messi] helped us with his two goals. He made his record look easy and still has a further three games to continue to help us.

"However, I think you should also remember the team and our defensive solidity. We had to suffer [at Betis], we knew it would not be easy, so it wasn't a coincidence."

Andres Iniesta, who Messi claimed deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, wrote on his official Twitter account: "We are well aware of the intensity needed to get these three points, [we are a] great team! Congratulations Leo!"

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes was equally happy for his teammate and posted a tweet saluting his efforts: "What a great match! As always, it was a complicated 90 minutes. Congratulations to Leo for having surpassed the record! Good night!"

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