Lionel Messi's season won't end atop the UEFA Champions League winner's podium, but that doesn't mean it won't go down as the most prolific individual season in European soccer history.
Messi tallied a hat trick against Malaga in Barcelona's 4-1 victory Wednesday, scoring his 68th goal in all competitions and breaking Gerd Mueller's record of 67 set in the 1972-1973 season for Bayern Munich. The three-time defending Ballon d'Or winner tied Mueller's record with two goals from the penalty spot before blowing down the center of the field, chipping the on-rushing goalkeeper and finishing into an empty net for the record-setter.
Of Messi's goals, 46 have come in league play. He scored 14 in the Champions League, three in the Spanish SuperCopa, two in the Copa del Rey, two in the Club World Cup and one in the UEFA Super Cup.
Digging even deeper, Messi has scored multiple goals in 22 games and had 10 hat tricks, and he scored a career-high five goals in a Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen. He has three more games to go to break the 70-goal barrier, including two in league play and one in the Copa del Rey final.