THE BEAN-COUNTERS CAN step away from their abacuses [abaci?] now – Lionel Messi has stopped his 2012 goal carnage at 91.
Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Cristian Tello steered La Liga leaders Barcelona to a 3-1 win at Valladolid, giving stricken coach Tito Vilanova a timely boost in his battle against cancer.
Vilanova left hospital earlier in the day, 48 hours after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in his saliva gland.
Jordi Roura took charge of Barca in the absence of the 44-year-old Vilanova who will be out of the game for a number of months to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
He wasn’t far from the minds of his players, however, as the squad wore messages of support wishing “strength and bravery” for the coach.
The win allowed Barcelona to finish 2012 with a nine-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid with 16 wins in 17 games.
Here is how strike number 91 went down:
YouTube credit: Basketballfreaks53
As La Liga is heading into its festive break, Messi and Bacrelona will not take to the field again until 2013.
From January onwards, the Argentine can get started on his never-ending quest to beat Godfrey Chitalu’s specious record of 103 goals in a calendar year.