MADRID: Barcelona claimed another world record for Lionel Messi after the World Player of the Year scored in his 17th successive La Liga game in a 2-0 win over Deportivo de La Coruna.

The 25-year-old Argentinian came off the bench to strike his 40th goal of the season for the runaway league leaders in the 88th minute. It was his 27th goal in 17 matches.

Barcelona said Messi had beaten Pole Teodor Peterek’s 1937-38 record of scoring in 16 straight games for Ruch Chorzow.

“The Argentine player’s tally represents a new record in the history of football, something no other player has achieved before,” the Spanish club said on their website.

In December, Messi broke another record – that of the most goals in a calendar year – when he surpassed Gerd Mueller’s 1972 tally of 85 – though this was challenged by supporters of old Zambia hero GodfreyChitalu.

Barcelona need to overturn a first-leg deficit when they face AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday amd thus started their match against Deportivo with several stars, including Messi, on the bench.

Alexis Sanchez gave them the lead just before half-time before Messi, who came on in the 59th minute, sealed victory two minutes from time.

Speaking about overturning the 2-0 first-leg deficit, Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura said: “Tuesday will be an entirely different story but there is no doubt that the best way to get ready for a match is having won the previous game.”

Peterek was born on November 7, 1910 in Schwientochlowitz [then Germany and now Świętochłowice] and died on January 12, 1969 in Nowa Ruda. He won five Polish league titles in the 1930s with Ruch Chorzow and scored six goals in 12 appearances for Poland including at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

# # # #