MADRID – Lionel Messi is leaving Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record in the dust.
For the seventh straight game he's started in, Messi scored, and this time with two goals, raising his total for the year to 88.
With the goals Messi helped defending champion Barcelona win 2-0 at second-tier Cordoba in the first leg of the fifth round of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.
Messi scored in the 11th and 74th minutes. Last weekend, the three-time FIFA Player of the Year broke Gerd Mueller's record of 86 goals in a year for club and country, set in 1972.
"A really big thank you to all my teammates and fans who have made this possible!" Messi said on his Facebook following the career milestone. "I could not have done this without you!"
Messi also said: "As I have said many times, the record is nice but the important thing is the victory that keeps us on the patch we want to continue on. As I always say, my objectives are on a team level: to win the league, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey again."
Messi's nickname "The Flea"-- because he is small and has a confounding way he can move through defenses -- might not be as intimidating but his reputation precedes itself before he even enters a soccer pitch.
"Leo is supernatural,'' Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said. "He doesn't have limits. We'll always have to remember everything he gave us. We have to enjoy every minute we have with him."
"We won't see another player like [Messi],'' Barca coach Tito Vilanova told reporters. "Not just because of his ability to score. But also for his ability to pass, play defense, and his understandings of the game. He is a global star that helps us in so many ways."
With reporting by The Associated Press.