FIFA Does Not Keep Track Of Domestic Records; Messi To Get New Deal
When LIONEL MESSI scored his 86th goal of the season last Sunday, it was the "trigger for the Barcelona forward to be showered with yet more praise," according to Simon Rice of the London INDEPENDENT. Yet, challenges emerged claiming that in fact the real record "was much higher." First the Zambian FA said that Kabwe Warriors striker GODFREY CHITALU had scored 107 goals in '72. Brazil legend ZICO "has also been put forward," with his former club Flamengo suggesting he scored 89 goals in '79. FIFA had remained silent "until now." And rather than settling the argument one way or the other, FIFA has refused to get involved, explaining that because the organization does not keep domestic records "it's not an official FIFA record" (INDEPENDENT, 12/14).
MORE MESSI: In London, Pete Jenson wrote Messi is "ready to sign for life at Barcelona with a deal that would give him the highest club wages of any footballer in Europe's top leagues." Messi's father, JORGE, has "already opened negotiations" with the Catalan club over extending his current contract, meaning he will stay at Barcelona until he is at least 31. The contract is expected to be structured so that it increases yearly, rising to £12.5M ($20.2M) a year net before bonuses (DAILY MAIL, 12/15).