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Goals for trophies

Gomez: I'm not in a contest with Messi

In one very specific sense, Mario Gomez is ahead of Lionel Messi. The Bayern striker is a goal behind Barcelona's three-time World Player of the Year in the Champions League goalscoring chart, but Mario is more effective, as he has scored once every 59.8 minute, whereas Messi needs 60 minutes per goal.

Ahead of the quarter-final second legs in Europe's elite club competition, Gomez more or less ridiculed that and similar examples of statistics gone mad. “I'm not crazy, so I'm not comparing myself to Messi or measuring myself against him, because he's simply the best, probably the best there's ever been and ever will be," said the FCB man. The only virtue in any comparison with Barcelona's mega-talent is as “an inspiration to score a few more goals of my own."

Superb strike rate

Gomez has 11 goals to his name in the Champions League this season, a superb achievement heightened by the fact that only two players have ever scored more in a single campaign, namely Messi and Ruud van Nistelrooy. Mario's current total of 23 CL goals makes him the best German striker in the history of the competition; three weeks ago, he became the first German to score four times in a single Champions League match in Bayern's 7–0 demolition of Basel. He also equalled the record for the fastest four–goal haul in Champions League history, namely 24 minutes, the same as Dado Prso for Monaco in November 2003.