Gerd Muller says he is "delighted" Lionel Messi has broken his record for goals scored in a calendar year, describing the Barcelona star as "the best player in the world".
Messi netted his 86th goal of 2012 on Sunday evening in a 2-1 victory over Real Betis. That saw the Argentine surpass the tally set by Muller in 1972, earning the praise of the former West Germany international.
"My record stood for 40 years - 85 goals in 60 games - and now the best player in the world has broken it, and I'm delighted for him. He is an incredible player, gigantic," Muller told Sport1.de.
Muller's record as Germany's top goalscorer may also be surpassed by Miroslav Klose, but the former striker says that he, for the moment, is focused only on how many goals Messi can score this year.
"He's such a nice and modest professional and I hope he gets one or two more goals in 2012 and that he can then hold onto the record for the next 40 years," he added.
"He's fantastic. He only has one defect and that is that he doesn't play for Bayern Munich!"