BERLIN - Lionel Messi broke Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record yesterday for the most goals scored in a single year, but the lifestyles of 'Der Bomber' and the magical Argentine could not be more different.
Messi was in double form for Barcelona at Real Betis to put his goal tally for the calendar year onto an incredible 86 — one more than the previous record of 85 set by Mueller in 1972 for Bayern Munich and West Germany.
At the peak of his career — when he scored the winning goal in the 1974 World Cup final — Mueller basked in the same god-like status Messi now enjoys.
But having battled alcoholism since his retirement in 1981, his public appearances are limited now to the occasional Munich match and a German television milkshake advert alongside current Bayern and Germany star Thomas Mueller.
"I ruined my life," 'Der Bomber' admits having blasted an incredible 68 goals in his 62 appearances for his country.
He bowed out of the international stage at just 28-years-of-age after hitting the winning goal in Munich as West Germany beat Holland 2-1 to win the 1974 World Cup.
Mueller finished with 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games.
While Messi has been instrumental in helping Barcelona enjoy a golden era in the club's rich history, the same was true for Mueller and Bayern in the 1970s.
In 1965, Muller, Sepp Maier and Franz Beckenbauer inspired the club to promotion to the Bundesliga.
Munich became champions for the first time in 1969, before claiming a hat-trick of domestic titles in 1972, 1973 and 1974.
The dream team then won the European Cup three times in succession from 1974 to 1976.
"Everything that FC Bayern has become is due to Gerd Mueller and his goals," said Beckenbauer, who captained Germany to the 1974 World Cup win and coached the 1990-title winning team.
Mueller was the club's top scorer every season from 1964-65 to 1977-78, and the Bundesliga's leading marksman seven times.