Call him "MESSI-ah." The world's greatest association footballer capped off his best year ever by breaking Gerd Müller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals in a calendar year midway through the first half of a La Liga match at Betis after tying the record minutes earlier.. That he did so mere days after suffering what looked to be a serious injury only makes his feat that much more legendary. Fitting, too, that viewers were provided the glory of Ray Hudson to call the goal; perhaps no broadcaster is more enthusiastic about his subject than Hudson is toward Messi.

Also appropriate? That it's set up by a perfect back-heel from Iniesta. Messi is a success because of how Barça has embraced the core ethos of the beautiful game, and the teamwork necessary to realize it; we're happy it came this way, rather than on a set piece or long run. [beIN]