Lionel Messi scoring 60 goals in one season is incredible, especially due to the fact that the last time anyone scored that amount of goals in one season was nearly 40 years ago, by one Gerd Muller who used to play for Bayern. Earlier than that? The 1940’s and so on.
The incredible thing is that it’s very reasonable to believe Lionel Messi will find himself holding the record for most goals in one season in European club competition this season, with Cristiano Ronaldo not too far behind him.
Number 10 – Gyula Zsengeller, Ujpest, 1938-1939, 56 Goals
The Hungarian Striker was one of the best players in the world during the late 30’s and early 1940’s. He’s probably most famous for his 1938 World Cup, helping Hungary reach the final, finishing as runner up in scoring as well behind Leonidas of Brazil. He scored 56 goals for Ujpest in the 1938-1939 season and scored 385 goals in the Hungarian league (1935-1947) before leaving to Italy.
Number 10 – Jim Forrest, Rangers, 1964-1965, 57 Goals
Forrest never stayed too long with one club, but he’s certainly mostly remembered for his spell with Glasgow Rangers from 1962 to 1967, scoring 145 goals in 163 appearances for the club. Amazingly, his 57 goals in a season aren’t a Scottish or British record. He was actually dropped from Rangers after an embarrassing cup defeat against Berwick Rangers.
Number 9 (Shared) – Jimmy McGrory, Celtic, 1926-1927, 59 Goals
McGrory played for Celtic from 1922 to 1937, scoring 522 goals for the club in 501 appearances. Despite being only 1.68 above the ground, he was renowned for his heading ability. He lead the Scottish league in scoring three times, and later managed the club for over 20 years. He won two league titles as a player and one as a manager.
Number 9 (Shared) – Refik Resmja, Partizani Tirana, 1950-1951, 59 Goals
Although statistics aren’t exactly accurate throughout the history of Albanian football, it’s pretty easy to say Resmja, the second best scorer in the history of the local league behind Vioresin Sinani, is the greatest football in the history of the nation. He scored 59 goals in only 23 matches. He won the league’s top scorer award eight times, winning 7 league titles with the club.
Number 9 (Shared) – Ferenc Deak, Ferencvaros, 1948-1949, 59 Goals
Like McGrory, Deak has more than one legendary season under his belt. Born in Budapest, Deak played for Ferencvaros three seasons after the second World War, scoring 121 goals in 83 matches for the club. He did even better earlier for Szentlorinci.
Number 6 – Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid, 2011-2012, 60 Goals
60 Goals suddenly don’t look that impressive with Lionel Messi finishing way ahead with 73 goals. But Ronaldo was just as impressive with the fact that he finally won the league title with Real Madrid, maybe taking back the balance of power from the Catalans. Next up – the Champions League.
Number 5 – Jimmy McGrory, Celtic, 1927-1928, 62 Goals
McGrory again, with his 62 goal season from a year later. Incredibly, McGrory scored over 40 goals in one season for Celtic 7 times, six of them coming consecutively between 1925-1931.
Number 4 – Dixie Dean, Everton, 1927-1928, 63 Goals
Dixie Dean was born in Liverpool on January 22, 1907. He grew up as an Everton fan, and after a couple of season with Tranmere he got to play for the club he wanted. Dean scored an incredible 395 goals in 447 matches for Everton from 1924 to 1938, ending his career with Notts County. Dean won two league titles with the Toffees and one FA Cup, scoring over 40 goals in one season five times.
Number 3 – Ferenc Deak, Szentlorinci, 1945-1946, 66 Goals
Back to Deak, and a bit back in time from his previous achievement on our list. Deak began his career for a club called Szentlorinci. All of his goals came in league matches that season, still a record, possibly unbreakable. His records for goals in a season held on for nearly 30 years, until Gerd Muller came along.
Number 2 – Gerd Muller, Bayern Munich, 1972-1973, 67 Goals
Gerd Muller came along and rose to greatness along with Bayern Munich and the West German national team in the late 60’s and 1970’s, winning the Euro in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974. One of the greatest goalscorers in history spent nearly his entire career with Bayern (1964-1979), scoring 566 goals in 607 matches for the club, leading the league in scoring 7 times. He won four Bundesliga titles and three European Cups with Bayern.
Number 1 – Lionel Messi, Barcelona, 2011-2012, 73 Goals
The unstoppable scoring machine from Argentina. By the end of this season, Messi should be holding the record for most goals by a player in a single season. He has already scored 53 goals in 2010-2011 and 47 the previous season.