Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In  |  Sign Up
NewsRumoursReportsVideoTalking PointsArticles
Text Size:  A  A  A

Goals in a Calendar Year

 Comments (27) jump to end

I saw a facebook post from ESPN Soccernet earlier today regarding Lio Messi's goal scoring record. The post read:

"Lionel Messi surpassed Pele's milestone of goals in a calendar year by scoring for the 75th and 76th time in 2012 to move within nine of Gerd Mueller's all-time record. Will he break it?"

That got me to thinking, what was the most goals our very own Dixie Dean netted in a calendar year? 1927 looks like the year he probably scored the most as he scored 12 international goals that year in addition to setting his single season record in the 1927-28 season.

I like Lionel Messi. I think he is a class act in addition to being one of the best footballers of all time... but if our Dixie scored more in a year, we need to see to it that he gets the respect he deserves.

Pat Finegan, Lynchburg, VA, USA     Posted 12/11/2012 at 00:44:49

back Return to Talking Points index  :  Add your Comments back

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Nick Entwistle
257 Posted 12/11/2012 at 10:11:28
I think they award the golden boot on % of goals by an individual compared to all goals scored in the league they play in, and was thinking about Messi and Ronaldo's totals last season in comparison to Dixie's.

But then got lazy, and forgot about it.

Nick Entwistle
258 Posted 12/11/2012 at 10:22:58
Daily Mail...

Pele scored 75 goals in 1958. Muller netted 85 in 1972.

The prolific German hitman scored 67 goals for Bayern Munich in the 1972-73 season.

Denis Byrne
275 Posted 12/11/2012 at 11:48:22
Well said, Pat. I heard that too and was utterly pissed off. He scored 67 (league, FA cup and internationals) in 1927-28 but including all other games I believe it was over 100 (in a season), but will need a good check up for the calender year details.

Despite the injustice, it's hard to see anyone taking any notice outside those who matter.
Chris Lawlor
280 Posted 12/11/2012 at 12:27:38
Are these records not always based on post war players hence the absence of Dean et al?

In terms of the actual players its by the by as long as Messi keeps on playing and we all assume he will as he's only 24 now he will undoubtedly blow away every standing record and go on the be the all time great and one we will be telling our great grand kids about. The single greatest player I've ever seen in the flesh... and that's including Mikel Madar!

Dave Chapman
289 Posted 12/11/2012 at 13:52:38
I wouldn't get too worried about it being a conspiracy. From a review of the stats for each season by calender years I have calculated the following:

In 1927 Dean scored 60 goals in all competitions
13 in 1926-27 season in all comps
35 in 1927-28 season in all comps
12 international goals.

In 1928 Dean scored 52 goals in all competitions:
25 in 1927-28 season in all comps
22 in 1928-29 in all comps
5 international goals.

So in his best calendar year he scored 60 goals in all competitions. Way behind the 75-85 goals mentioned above. It's not always a great conspiracy against Everton and being beaten by Pele, Muller and Messi isn't exactly too bad!

Dave Chapman
290 Posted 12/11/2012 at 13:59:33
Apologies - add 3 more in for FA Cup in both 1927 and 1928.

So that makes it

63 in 1927
55 in 1928

Patrick Murphy
293 Posted 12/11/2012 at 14:12:23
Don't forget Dixie didn't play in European competition. So maybe he compares favourably with the modern day players.

Having said that, Messi is probably the greatest ever footballer to play in any era.
Nick Entwistle
294 Posted 12/11/2012 at 14:34:33
Nah... he fails miserably in comparison to Maradona. The videos of Diego's passing ability on YouTube are better than videos of Messi's goals.

Messi plays for the greatest team ever... kinda helps a bit. And he never won a World Cup on his own.

Jim Knightley
299 Posted 12/11/2012 at 15:23:45
Nick... The general level of international football is better these days though... players cannot win a world cup on their own (and Maradona didn't... although he was clearly the stand out performer for Argentina, everyone has help and he had a good team behind him. Just like the myths of Pele's individual heroics which forget the likes of Garrincha and Jaizinho).

The people playing around Messi should not demean his achievements. Great players play for great teams, and naturally have fantastic players around them. Obviously Barca's club side may be the best ever... but then Messi, is the primary reason why. He scores an insane amount of goals, often from wide positions, and creates an incredible amount of opportunities for his teammates. And he is a fantastic finisher, and his second against Mallorca this weekend was the perfect example. A rocket without any backlift.

Messi, imo, is the greatest footballer in history, because he plays at a far higher level of football than those which have come before. It is an unfair comparison of course, and Messi didn't have to deal with as many people kicking chunks out of him. But given the increased pace of the game, and defensive awareness, I think his consistent performances and goal-scoring exploits make him the most impressive player in the history of world football.

Nick Entwistle
303 Posted 12/11/2012 at 16:16:04
It's all up for argument, of course, Jim... though yes, Messi is the reason Barca are the best side in the world right now, maybe ever; the second being Spain.

I don't agree with international football generally being of a higher standard now, not against the better teams anyway. And he may well score a huge amount of goals but probably because La Liga is in the majority a soft league.

When balls are feather light, tackling or contact non-existent, offside rules as they are, refs quick to book, I would argue the resulting speed allows for an easier game for the attacker, as it was designed to be.

That's not to disparage him as he's obviously a great on par with Zidane or Cruyff, Platini or Beckenbauer, but Maradona? Messi doesn't redefine what it is to be the best ever, or of an era. Maradona did. Different level all together.

Keith Glazzard
314 Posted 12/11/2012 at 16:38:57
Well, my paper had Messi by far the best of all time this morning. I am, however, in Catalunya.

Mind you, I agree with them (not just to save my skin) for many of the reasons stated above. I've seen Garrincha and Pele and now I want to see him.

Maradona? Ruled himself out of the competition. You only have to have sex with one ewe to be a sheepshagger.

Paul Kelly
329 Posted 12/11/2012 at 18:22:01
Best player in his position... maybe.

Don't think he'd do to well between the sticks.

Pat Finegan
330 Posted 12/11/2012 at 18:11:01
Thanks, Dave Chapman. I wasn't going to get a riled up in another anti-Everton conspiracy theory until I had some facts to back it up. Clearly, there is no anti-Everton conspiracy here.

As Patrick Murphy states, however, Dixie didn't have the Champions league. It looks like Pele still scored more in a year without international club competition (could be wrong there).

Where do you guys find these stats? All I can find is goals in a season.

Gareth Humphreys
342 Posted 12/11/2012 at 20:43:51
A few things on Messi:

(1) I don't think he's the best player ever because I don't think he's the best player in Spain. Ronaldo for me.

(2) It could actually be argued that isn't the best player in Barcelona as I think Iniesta pushes him very very close.

(3) Maradonna for me is streets ahead of Messi. Yes he did win the world cup on his own, and then he nearly went and did it again 4 years later with an even worse team. In the meantime he won the league withNapoli twice and runners up the same number. They've never been near it since.

(4) None of the players mentioned above were better at their job than Neville Southall was at his so they are all fighting for joint top spot in my book anyway.
Dennis Stevens
343 Posted 12/11/2012 at 20:04:06
None of them are a patch on Stanley Matthews!
Peter Warren
355 Posted 12/11/2012 at 22:58:38
Best player ever: Neville Southall — no contest.
Keith Glazzard
366 Posted 12/11/2012 at 23:51:40
Gareth Humphreys

Christiano, as they call him here, certainly has his claim to greatness. And he bangs them in like there's no tomorrow, for sure. But even the (many) Real Madrid CF supporters I meet don't make any claims above that. MUFC I suspect spread the myth that he was a little boy lost, while at a muscular 6'-2" he was always a handful. And he has gone on from that.

But he is no Lionel Messi. He relies on people like Leo, and would be nowhere without them.

Iniesta is a superb player. Time will tell whether he and Messi push each other to the end. As Messi is setting world records at the moment, Iniesta has to lag behind, but who knows what's to come?

Diego Maradona? Fabulous skills, great player without a doubt. A bit like Luis Suarez. And another cheating bastard.

Now I don't know everything that Garrincha, Pele and Messi have ever done. But I have never, ever, heard anyone of them referred to as cheating bastards. I stand to be corrected. But Maradona called his own footballing felony 'The Hand of God', remember?

He doesn't even get to the starting line-up.

And here's a big one for another time – are goalkeepers footballers?

I look forward to that one.

Denis Byrne
403 Posted 13/11/2012 at 11:35:49
Thanks for those stats, Dave (#289). I'm still not convinced though. The only goals we are referencing are League, FA Cup and internationals. Your two combined 1927-28 seasons only make 63 goals for all competetitions (including your later addition), which doesn't add up.

The County Cup was a big competition then and others too, so there is more to include. Like Pat #330 says, where are these details as I'm also struggling to find chronologocal games (ALL competetive games) with goalscorers.

Btw ... no conspiracy here, this is just IMPORTANT!
Dave Chapman
407 Posted 13/11/2012 at 12:47:00
I was correct with my initial calculations and double counted the FA Cup games so apologies for that. Hopefully my revised and step by step calculations will assist with clarifying the numbers for you below. I don’t know about County Cup games as I cannot find these recorded anywhere, however if we are comparing these games against the matches that Messi is playing I think we are clutching at straws a little bit.

A great website with a breakdown of all Everton league and FA Cup games by season and all other kinds of stats on Everton:

For Dixie Deans international goals by year see wikipedia

1926/1927 season (21 goals in league and 3 in FA Cup)
1926 - 11 goals
1927 - 13 goals

1927/1928 season (60 goals in league and 3 in FA Cup)
1927 – 35 goals
1928 – 28 goals

1928/1929 season (23 goals in league and 2 in Charity Shield)
1928 – 19 goals
1929 – 6 goals

International Goals:
1926/1927 season (12 goals)
1926 – 0 goals
1927 – 12 goals

1927/1928 season (4 goals)
1927 – 0 goals
1928 – 4 goals

1928/1929 season (1 goal)
1928 – 1 goal

1926/1927 – 36 goals
1927/1928 – 67 goals
1928/1929 – 26 goals

1927 – 60 goals (13 + 35 + 12)
1928 – 52 goals (28 + 19 + 4 + 1)

Dave Roberts
417 Posted 13/11/2012 at 15:21:58
The most important point was made by Nick Entwistle. Most of La Liga are punch bags for the top few clubs and even some of the top few are punch bags in their turn for Barca and Real Madrid. The game might have been somewhat slower in Dixie's day but it was also a hell of a lot more physical.

I appreciate why some people may believe Barcelona are the best team ever but for me the reasons they are NOT are:-

They are one-dimensional. They have one way of playing (as pretty as it may be at times ....but it can also be boring)

If their way of playing is not working they are incapable of adapting (AC Milan/Celtic)

Being able to adapt on the pitch is an important aspect of a team's claims to be 'the best' and Barcelona haven't got it!

They are infested with more cheats and divers than the fucking Shite and that's saying something!

The best team ever? No argument.....any one of three:-

The Real Madrid of Puskas and DiStefano
The 1970 Brazil team

or my choice....

The Hungary of the early fifties...The Mighty Magyars who brought a whole new dimension to the game and retaught the world how the game should be played.

If you haven't seen Puskas and Hidgekuti you aint seen anyone!

Andrew Ellams
422 Posted 13/11/2012 at 16:13:20
This best player stuff is pointless. Beckenbauer, Pele, Charlton, Moore, Best, Southall, Yashin, Schmeichel, Zico, Maradona, Messi, Rush, Lineker and Cruyff. All fantastic footballers all in there own position so it is all very subjective. For me the most gifted all round players of all time are Zidane and Rivalino.
Sean McKenna
425 Posted 13/11/2012 at 16:30:12
Andrew, how people don't mention Zidane is mind-boggling... He won the lot, played for the best club in the world, won every award... and did it with a touch of class. I wish there were more players like Zidane in the world. Hands down, Zidane was the greatest I've ever seen.
Keith Glazzard
439 Posted 13/11/2012 at 18:26:33
Andrew Ellams - spot on.

Dave Roberts - "They are infested with more cheats and divers than the fucking Shite". Name names.

Every 'footballer' from the Pope down to One-eyed Stan on the park on a Sunday morning claims a corner, throw in or a penalty at every opportunity. A guy I knew was about to score a career changing goal when he was hacked down from behind by Bobby Charlton.

So who, in the present Barca line-up invites your ire? And please note - I'm not a fan. I'm an Evertonian who has been impressed by the hospitality of strangers. That is all.

Gavin Ramejkis
449 Posted 13/11/2012 at 19:58:38
Joined this late but Gerd Muller and that Germany team were immense and destroyed the total footballing side of Holland, Gerd was a goal machine that had that knack all the greatest strikers have and that's the instinct to score great goals out of fresh air. The 1970 Brazil side were to the last man a great side that had every trick in the book. The 66 Portugal side and the North Koreans played a belting game at Goodison Park, its all subjective and of its time so the different game could be said about it on a daily basis, in their day the world has had great players through the age of football each with their strengths in their day
Bobby Mallon
590 Posted 14/11/2012 at 17:50:19
Dave Chapman,

Dixie Dean scored 60 League goals in the 27-28 season alone... league goals, so you need to put any extra on top of that for the calendar year.
Dave Chapman
697 Posted 15/11/2012 at 12:52:59
Bobby, see post 407. Broken down by season, includes League, Cup, Charity Shield and Internationals.

Sorry i'm not sure how much more simply I can break it down.

He scored 60 goals in a calender year (1927) and 67 in one season (60 league, 3 fa cup and 4 international - 1927/1928).

Dave Roberts
780 Posted 16/11/2012 at 09:01:58
Probably posting to dead thread now but not been on here since I sent my post.


Happy to oblige. There is a generality about Barcelona's attitude and tendency to cheat when matters are not going their way. The best examples of this were their two CL games a few years ago when the' Special One' was Chelsea's manager. They were diving and whingeing at the referee all over the pitch. It gets particularly bad in La Liga when they are playing Real Madrid which is possibly understandable given the nature of the fixture but no less infuriating for that. This led to Mourinho's complant last year that it's just not possible for Madrid to win at Barcelona. He was infuriated too.

Busquets is the worst offender but Fabregas can't lose the ball without claiming a foul and Messi, despite his incredible skill is not beyond remonstrating with the referee when things don't go his way. Fabregas has not changed since he got Arteta sent off at Goodison a few years back and was an annoying little bastard when he was at Arsenal and as good as he can be he remains an annoying little bastard today. Remember his comments to the referee a couple of years ago? Villa and Puyol are divers too and Puyol spends more time harrassing the referees than he does playing football.

Don't let your obvious admiration for Barcelona blind you to the facts. They are certainly not Olympians and will readily resort to dubious tactics if or when it suits them to do so.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb

About these ads

Latest News

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at

Recent Articles

Talking Points & General Forum

Pinned Links


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.