Lionel Messi sets Champions League record of 72 goals

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Nicosia | Published: November 26, 2014 9:33:10 AM

FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi set a Champions League scoring record of 72 goals...

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Apoel during the Champions League Group F soccer match between Apoel and Barcelona in Nicosia. APFC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Apoel during the Champions League Group F soccer match between Apoel and Barcelona in Nicosia. AP

FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi set a Champions League scoring record of 72 goals when he struck in the 38th minute of Tuesday’s Group F match at APOEL Nicosia.

The Barca and Argentina captain, 27, surpassed the record of 71 he jointly held with former Real and Schalke 04 striker Raul when he put Barcelona 2-0 ahead.

Messi’s record tally in Europe’s elite club competition is the latest milestone in his stellar career after he broke the six decades-old La Liga scoring record with a hat-trick in Barca’s 5-1 victory at home to Sevilla on Saturday.

Messi overhauled former Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra’s mark of 251 goals, set in 1955, and has 253 in 289 league games for the Catalan club he joined as a 13-year-old.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who ended Messi’s four-year run as World Player of the Year in 2013 with his second award, has scored 70 Champions League goals.

The Portugal captain has a chance to catch or surpass his arch rival when Real play at FC Basel in Champions League Group B on Wednesday.

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