Gerard Pique described Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi as "supernatural" after the Argentina superstar's latest record-breaking feat.
Messi's brace in Barca's 2-1 Primera Division win over Real Betis last night saw him surpass Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year. The 25-year-old equalled the 40-year-old record in the 16th minute following a trademark individual run and left-footed shot, and then needed just nine more minutes to break the mark with another precise finish.
Pique was one of a number of Barça players to hail Messi and urged the Catalan club to cherish the three-time Ballon d'Or winner while they can. "Leo is supernatural, he has no limits and we always have to remember everything that he's given us. We have to enjoy him every single minute that we have him now," the Spain international was quoted as saying by El Mundo Deportivo.
Barça midfielder Sergio Busquets added of Messi: "He is the best in the world and I'm very happy he's broken that record and I hope he gets more."
A host of other Barça players also took to Twitter to offer their congratulations to Messi, including Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes, Javier Mascherano, Thiago and Jose Pinto. As well as passing Muller, Messi's double against Betis sent him clear of Cesar Rodriguez as Barça's all-time leading league goalscorer after they had been level on 192 before the match.
Earlier this year Messi became Barça's record scorer in all competitions after moving past the tally of 232 official goals set by Rodriguez during the 1940s and 50s. The Argentina captain has also claimed a host of other individual records during a remarkable career that looks certain to include many more memorable moments in the future.
Barça sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta believes the magnitude of Messi's achievements may not fully sink in until further down the line. "I'm sure that we will really appreciate Leo's records over time. They happen so quickly that they seem to be just one more thing. It all seems very simple but it's very difficult to describe it," he told Canal Plus.