Godfrey Chitalu: Lionel Messi's Goal-Scoring Record Being Challenged by Zambia

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IDecember 12, 2012

SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 09:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona gives his thumbs up during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on December 9, 2012 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi may not be a record-holder after all. 

OK, well that's just not true. The world's best footballer probably holds more records than days I've been on this planet, but his most recent is being put into question.

The news comes from The Guardian:

Zambia's Football Association is planning an official challenge to Lionel Messi's record for the most goals scored in a calendar year—claiming the Barcelona forward's tally of 86 was beaten in 1972.

The Zambian FA told Soccer Laduma that they would present evidence to FIFA to show that the Kabwe Warriors striker Godfrey Chitalu, who won Zambia's player of the year award five times, scored 107 goals in 1972.

According to the spokesperson, Godfrey Chitalu's amazing 107 goals across all competition "has been recorded in Zambian football, but unfortunately it has not been recorded in world football." They are currently going through the archives to find the proof necessary to give Chitalu the credit they believe he deserves. 

This is a truly shocking development, and if Zambia wins its appeal, Messi really has his work cut out for him. 

After scoring two goals last weekend against Real Betis to break Gerd Muller's mark of 85 goals in a calendar year (which, ironically enough, was done in 1972, the same year as Chitalu's reported accomplishment), Messi dropped two more again against Cordoba on Wednesday to bump his total up to 88. 

If anyone can score 20 goals in Barcelona's final two fixtures of December, it's Messi. But in reality, that's an impossible task. 

Of course, it's still a large unknown as to whether or not Zambia's appeal to FIFA will be a success. But even if it is, Messi, 25, still has plenty more years to break yet another record.