Messi has withdrawn from international football
Chitalus mark not confirmed
"Our official statistics are limited to the FIFA competitions, so we cannot verify this 'record'," said FIFA on its Twitter account, referring to the Chitalus brand. The world association is generally trying not to add fuel to the fire, as the goals category is "not an official FIFA record" in one year.
40 years ago, Chitalu, who was killed in a tragic plane crash in Gabon in 1993, is said to have scored 107 goals. The Zambian football association Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) presented a photo as proof that shows the striker with a ball that bears his name and the number 107. But FIFA was not convinced of this.
"The record is ours, it was documented in Zambia, unfortunately not in the rest of the world," a spokesman for the association is quoted as saying in British newspapers.
Chitalu, who turned 25 in 1972, is considered a legend of Zambian football and has been named Zambia's Footballer of the Year five times. On April 27, 1993, the 1980 Olympian died in the so-called "Gabon Air Disaster". All 30 occupants were killed in the plane disaster - including 18 Zambian national players and their future national coach: Godfrey Chitalu.
Flamengo withdrew its objection
In addition to the Zambian association, the traditional Brazilian club Flamengo Rio de Janeiro initially questioned Messi's record. The club historians complained that Zico scored a total of 89 goals in the 1979 calendar year. However, Flamengo withdrew his objection as the "White Pele" also scored his goals in friendly matches. Traditionally, goals scored in competitive games are only recognized.
Until recently, Gerd Müller was officially the record holder with 85 goals in 1972. Messi had meanwhile surpassed this mark, and the Argentine superstar will have two games in the Primera Division later this year to add one or the other to his current 88 goals. But no matter how many there are, Messi will likely be accepted as a record shooter.
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