Messi breaks Pele’s record with 644 goals for Barcelona

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Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
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Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal for Barcelona during his side’s victory over Real Valladolid to break Pele’s record of the most goals for one club.

Argentina forward Messi, 33, scored Barca’s third when he collected Pedri’s backheel, took a touch then slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jordi Masip.

Messi created the first goal when his cross was headed in by Clement Lenglet and started the move for the second, finished off by Martin Braithwaite.

Messi also hit the post in injury time.

Brazil great Pele scored 643 goals in 19 seasons for Santos in his homeland between 1956 and 1974.

Messi, who scored his first goal for Barca in 2005 and has gone on to win 10 La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues, is out of contract at the end of the season and able to talk to other clubs from January.

Messi (left) made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 17 in 2004
Messi (left) made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 17 in 2004 [File: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters]

In August, he said he wanted to exercise a clause in his deal which he said allowed him to leave on a free transfer, but Barcelona refused, saying his 700m euro (£624m) release clause had to be met.

Earlier this week, Messi said the incident caused him to have “a very bad time in the summer”, although he was in superb form against Valladolid on Tuesday, inspiring a win that took Barcelona back up to fifth, eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

Barca could have scored more goals but Masip made a number of fine saves and substitute Philippe Coutinho also hit the woodwork late on.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen made two one-handed saves to deny Fabian Orellana and Kike Perez, preserving Barcelona’s clean sheet.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Atletico beat third-placed Real Sociedad 2-0 thanks to goals from Mario Hermoso and Marcos Llorente to go three points clear of Real Madrid, who play Granada at home on Wednesday (18:45 GMT).
Lionel Messi's 644th Barcelona goal came in the 65th minute of their win over Real Valladolid
Lionel Messi’s 644th Barcelona goal came in the 65th minute of their win over Real Valladolid

According to report from Aljazeera

After receiving the ball near the edge of the area, Pedri deftly rolled his boot over the ball to push it behind him to meet the Argentine’s run.

The slick pass left Messi clear to beat goalkeeper Jordi Masip, who had denied him twice.

“When I started playing football I never thought I’d break any record, especially not the one I achieved today that Pele held,” Messi wrote on Instagram after the match.

“I can only give my thanks to everyone who helped me during these years, my teammates, my family, my friends, and everyone who supports me every day.”

It is yet another record for Messi, who joined Barcelona at age 13 and made his competitive debut at 17 in 2004.

“[The win] shows that we have a strong squad, where there is a lot of competition for playing time,” Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said.

“It proves that, with a calendar packed with games, we can rest some players. We got this win by playing good football. The team was focused from the start.”

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Barcelona stayed in fifth place at eight points behind Atletico Madrid. Video

Pele congratulates Messi

On Saturday, after Messi scored his 643rd goal and equalled Pele’s record, the Brazilian great praised him on Instagram.

“When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path,” he wrote.ADVERTISING

“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.

“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, Leo Messi.”

Pele, 80, made his debut at Santos in 1956 at the age of 15 and played for the club until 1974, featuring in a total of 665 competitive games.

Messi, 33, tried to force his way out of Barcelona in the summer but was frustrated as then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu refused to let him walk away for free.

The captain has since reiterated his commitment to the club, with whom he has a contract until the end of the current season, although there remains a lot of speculation about his future.

Messi also holds the record for most Ballon d’Or wins, claiming his sixth in 2019.

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