The Argentine's hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-1 win over Malaga was enough for him to take his tally for the term to 68 goals and surpass the Bayern Munich legend's long-standing milestone. And with three competitive club games still to go this season, Messi will be looking to add to his haul and cement his new record for decades to come.
Can the triple Ballon d'Or winner now go on to become the first player to score 70 goals in all competitions in a single European campaign? While he prepares for that remarkable feat, Goal.com looks back at some of the highlights and key moments of his 68 goals in the 2011-12 season.
Floodgates opened | Messi's first goal for Barca was against Madrid in the Supercopa
Osasuna obliterated | Leo saunters away to his first hat-trick this season in an 8-0 win
Sleepless nights | Atletico were Messi's next hat-trick victims as the Mattress Men lost 5-0
More of the same | The Argentine scored back-to-back trebles, against Mallorca and Viktoria
To the rescue | Messi scored a 91st-minute goal to salvage a 2-2 draw against Athletic
Top of the world | Messi stars at the Club World Cup final with two goals v Santos
Three more in the bag | A hat-trick against Malaga was the forward's fourth league treble
Set-piece sizzler | One of Messi's best goals this season was a free kick v Atletico
High five | Leo became the first man in the Champions League era to score five in a game
No. 1 | Messi became Barca's all-time top scorer after his hat-trick v Granada
Records man | Messi equalled Altafini's seasonal 14 European Cup goals v Milan
Pichichi race ignited | Messi broke the 40-goal barrier with his 41st league strike in 2011-12
Knocking on the door | Two more goals v Rayo put Leo closer to Muller's mark
The new Bomber | Messi smashed Gerd's 67-goal milestone with his hat-trick v Malaga