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Vilanova hails Messi the maestro

By Football News



Barcelona manager Tito Villanova lauded Lionel Messi after the Argentine moved two goals closer to Gerd Muller's goal scoring record.

Messi scored a brace in Barcelona's 4-2 win over Mallorca and has now scored 76 goals this calendar year, surpassing Pele's mark of 75 and moving to within nine of Muller's record of 85, which he recorded in 1972.

And Villanova expects the three-time Ballon D'Or winner to continue breaking records, describing Messi's ability to score goals as 'unbelievable'.

"Regarding Leo's records, he won't stop breaking them," said Vilanova.

"When you think about the number of goals he is able to score in just one season, it's unbelievable.

"There are many good players out there that score in seven or eight years what Messi gets in one and, as I always say, most of them are really good ones, not regular goals."

Despite Messi's brilliance, Barcelona's win was not a comfortable one after the defending league champions nearly blew a three-goal lead in the second half to a persistent Mallorca side.

But Villanova hit back at critics who believe Barcelona are too one-dimensional, insisting that his side know how they 'want to win'.

"Well I talked about our style the other day. We don't have a plan B or C or D. We always play the same way in terms of our philosophy," he said.

"Obviously sometimes we play different, more on the wings, more close, more open, but basically we always use the same style.

"We know how we want to win and, if we are to lose, we know exactly how are going to do it."