Lionel Messi sends signed Barcelona shirt to Gerd Mueller

Barcelona send a signed shirt from Lionel Messi to German footballing legend Gerd Mueller after record-breaking 2012

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Lionel Messi scored a record 91 goals for club and country in 2012 Photo: FIFA/Getty Images

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Barcelona have sent a signed shirt from Lionel Messi to German footballing legend Gerd Mueller, with a special dedication from the Argentine to the previous holder of the record for the most goals in a calendar year, which the Barcelona striker took in 2012.

Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or for a fourth time on Monday, hit a world record 91 goals last year, passing the 85 that Mueller netted in 1972.

According to Barcelona, Messi wished to send a souvenir to the German and dedicated the shirt with the following message: “To Gerd Mueller, with respect and admiration, Best wishes”.

Mueller, who is currently involved at Bayern Munich in a technical role, praised Messi after he took the record: “He’s an incredible player, a giant who is both decent and professional”.

Messi’s shirt was accompanied by a letter from Barcelona president Sandro Rosell for his counterpart at Bayern, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

In it, the Barça director expresses his “recognition of the figure and character of Gerd Mueller” and that the previous record was “a source of motivation and self-improvement for Messi”.

Rosell’s letter also noted that the “admiration that our club feels for Bayern and its support is evident once more with this historic link between two players who are sporting role models for our respective clubs”.

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