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Football | Spain

Messi © Action Images

Messi pays respect to 'Der Bomber'



Lionel Messi has sent a signed shirt to Gerd Mueller after the Argentina forward broke the former Germany striker's record for the number of goals scored in a calendar year in 2012.

"For Gerd Mueller, my respect and admiration, a hug," Messi wrote on the shirt, which had his name and number 10 on the back.

Messi finished last year with 91 goals for Barcelona and Argentina, six more than Mueller netted for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972.

The 25-year-old Argentine, known as 'the flea' while Mueller's nickname was 'torpedo', collected an unprecedented fourth Fifa Ballon d'Or award on Monday.

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