Messi record disputed by Zarra family

The Barcelona star may have scored more La Liga goals than Telmo Zarra’s 251 but needed more games than the legendary Athletic Bilboa striker to do so.

The daughter of Telmo Zarra says Lionel Messi may have scored more goals than her father but has not beaten his La Liga record.

Zarra’s benchmark of 251 goals for Athletic Bilbao had stood since 1955 but Messi moved onto 253 following a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Sevilla on Saturday.

However, Carmen Zarra told Spanish radio station Cope: “Messi scored more goals but did not beat his record.

“The record will be beaten when someone scores 251 goals in 267 matches, but Messi needed 280 matches.”

Carmen added: “We don’t know clear statistics for my father. Athletic said that he scored 251 on their website, but others sources said that he scored 253.

“Messi will overcome his figures because he is an excellent player but he played 12 matches more than my father.

“He scored more goals but I think that the media are wrong when say that he beat my father’s record.”

Zarra played for Athletic from 1940 to 1955 and was “a complete forward”, according to his daughter.

“Each player has their own style but he was great, a great goalscorer. He used his head but many say he was also had skilful feet and had excellent physical strength.”

At 27, Messi has time on his side to set a remarkable new La Liga goalscoring record, with his closest playing rival Cristiano Ronaldo, 29, on 197 strikes with Real Madrid.