Sorry, Ronaldo fans, but there's only one place to start this week's edition of the B/R Messi and Ronaldo Watch.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi on Sunday set a new world record for goals in a calendar year with his 86th strike of 2012 (via BBC Sport). As such, Messi takes top billing in this week's watch.
But as this is the Messi and Ronaldo Watch, we still have plenty more business to attend to this week. While Messi was off breaking records, both Barcelona and Real Madrid kept winning in various competitions.
We'll recap all the action below and look ahead to what should be another exciting week.
Messi scored twice Sunday as Barcelona won 2-1 at Real Betis in the Spanish league. The two goals gave Messi 86 in 2012, one more than German legend Gerd Müller's previous record of 85 in 1972.
Müller, who starred for Bayern Munich and the German national team, praised Messi on Monday, calling the Argentine international an "incredible player."
From The Guardian:
He's such a nice and modest professional and I hope he gets one or two more goals in 2012 and that he can then hold onto the record for the next 40 years. He's fantastic. He only has one defect and that is that he doesn't play for Bayern Munich!
Messi, 25, opened the scoring in the 16th minute and doubled Barcelona's advantage with a similar strike nine minutes later. The second goal was the record-breaker.
FCBarcelona.com has a breakdown of all 86 of Messi's goals. One intriguing stat is that no player has assisted more than nine (Andres Iniesta) of the 86.
With the victory, Barcelona remained six points clear of Atletico Madrid atop Spain's La Liga. Messi's goals are available for viewing in the video above.
Real Madrid keep pace
Real Madrid came from behind twice before winning 3-2 at Valladolid on Saturday in La Liga. The victory kept Madrid 11 points behind league-leading Barcelona.
Ronaldo started and played the full 90 minutes but did not score. He shot over the bar from long distance in the second minute and tested Valladolid keeper Daniel Hernandez with a free kick later in the first half.
Watch Ronaldo's individual highlights in the video above.
Champions League action
Both Real Madrid and Barcelona advanced to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League after finishing group play last week. Real Madrid routed Ajax and finished second in Group D. Barcelona drew 0-0 with Benfica and won Group G.
Ronaldo opened the scoring for Real in the 13th minute before Jose Maria Callejon (28') and Kaká (49') made it 3-0. Ajax pulled one back before Callejon added his second in the closing minutes.
Highlights from the match appear in the video above.
Barcelona, on the other hand, experienced a nervous night after drawing with Benfica. Messi, who came on as a second-half substitute, sustained a knee injury in the closing minutes and left the pitch on a stretcher.
The injury was not serious, and Messi returned to training the next day.
Keeping track and looking ahead
Messi has scored 30 goals for Barcelona in all competitions this season, including a La Liga-best 23 strikes in 15 matches. He has scored 86 goals in 2012 for Barcelona and Argentina.
This week, Barcelona play at Cordoba in the Spanish Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday. On Sunday, the league leaders host second-placed Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.
Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in all competitions this season for Real Madrid, including 13 in La Liga. Real Madrid visit Celta Vigo on Tuesday in Copa del Rey action before hosting Espanyol on Sunday in the league.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!