A sideways look at Spanish football
Well, that’s certainly one way to get out of a pickle. On Wednesday, LLL brought you the news that Marca in a bit of a sulk had a completely different opinion on when Leo Messi would beat Gerd Müller’s 85 goals in a calendar year record. According to the Madrid-based paper, the Argentinean’s first against Athletic Bilbao was in fact an own-goal, despite the referee’s report stating otherwise.
To be fair, in terms of their annual 'Pichichi' top scorer competition, Marca are entitled to do whatever the blazes they want. Indeed, they gave an extra goal to Cristiano Ronaldo when everyone else registered the strike to Pepe in the 2010-11 season, and certainly not just to give him an extra leg-up against Leo Messi, in the battle to be top scorer. But this particular declaration was going to make things very confusing, with Marca set to report Messi’s potential surpassing of Müller's record at a completely different time to every other media outlet, claiming the forward was two strikes away, instead of the more widely accepted one.
But that’s no longer an issue, thanks to a handy adjustment made by the paper in Thursday’s edition. Instead of moodily correcting their own records for Messi’s tally this season, Marca have now cited a video uncovered by ESPN featuring a game between West Germany and the USSR in June 1972, in which it appears that one of Müller’s four goals was actually an own goal by the Soviet keeper.
This revisionist approach leaves the German on 84 goals, and thusly sees Messi now just one behind - putting Marca on a level footing with the rest of the world. Although in the final paragraph of the paper’s article it does leave a cliff hanger ending on what will ultimately happen. “Anyway, it seem very improbable that FIFA will end up rectifying it, something that they normally never do."
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