Barcelona star Lionel Messi on Tuesday set another world record as he moved past Brazilian legend Pele to become the highest goalscorer for a single club.
Messi scored his 644th goal for the Catalan club during their win against Valladolid in La Liga, overtaking Pele’s record of 643 goals for Santos.
Messi’s achieved the feat after playing 749 games for Barcelona spreading across 17 seasons. Not many had thought that it would be possible to break Pele’s record.
“When I started playing football I never thought I would break any records. And even less the one I achieved today,” Messi posted on Instagram shortly after the game.
“I can only thank all those who helped me over the years, my teammates, my family, my friends and all those who support me every day,” he added.
Pele had earlier congratulated Messi when the latter had equalled his record.
“When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path. Like you, I know what it’s like to love wearing the same shirt every day. Like you, I know that there is nothing better than the place we feel at home,” Pele had said in an Instagram post.
“Congratulations on your historic record, Lionel. But above all, congratulations on your beautiful career at Barcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately, will be increasingly rare in football. I admire you very much,” he had added.
Pele, who played his last game for Santos in 1974, is counted among one of the greatest players ever to grace the game.
There’s another Pele record that Messi has in his sights. The 77 goals that the Brazilian scored for his country are still a South American record. But Messi has 71 for Argentina, and needs just six more to equal that number.
Meanwhile, Barcelona moved to the fifth place in the points table of La Liga after registering their seventh win of the season. Other than Messi, Clement Lenglet and Martin Braithwaite put their names on tje scoresheet against Valladolid.