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Barcelona are more important than Muller's record, says Messi

The Argentine took his personal tally for 2012 to 80 goals with his double against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, but is more focussed on collective success

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has insisted that his focus remains with his team's ambitions, rather than equalling 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 annual tally to 80, but winning trophies remains his priority.

"We knew we had to start strong today, to avoid what happened against Celtic," he 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 maintained that Messi plays for the team as a whole, not as an individual chasing a record.

"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.

"Messi getting closer to Muller's record? Messi doesn't play to break records, he plays to help the team to win.

"It's the same every game. His ambition, his motivation to score, to help the team ... tactically he is a very complete player," he admitted.

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