Lionel Messi scores 60th goal

Updated: April 8, 2012, 12:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messi scored twice to become the first player since 1973 with 60 goals in a season for a club in a major European league, leading Barcelona to a 4-1 win at Zaragoza on Saturday night.

Messi
Messi

The three-time FIFA player of the year put Barcelona ahead 2-1 with a brilliant individual effort in the 39th minute, then converted a penalty kick in the 86th. The last player to reach 60 was Bayern Munich's Gerd Mueller with 67 in 1972-73.

Messi leads the Spanish league with 38 goals, one more than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Seeking its fourth straight league title, Barcelona stretched its league winning streak to nine and closed within three points of Real Madrid, which hosts Valencia on Sunday.

Carlos Aranda put Zaragoza ahead in the 30th minute, six minutes after his penalty kick was saved by Victor Valdes. Carles Puyol tied it in the 36th when goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez fumbled a routine corner kick and the ball fell to the feet of Barcelona's captain. Messi set up Pedro Rodriguez for a goal in stoppage time.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.