Messi breaks Pele’s record goal haul by scoring 644th for Barca

Pele scored 643 goals in 665 competitive games for Santos, Messi needed 749 games

 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against Real Valladolid. Photograph: Getty Images

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against Real Valladolid. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Lionel Messi became the all-time top scorer for a single club on Tuesday after scoring his 644th goal for Barcelona during their La Liga match against Real Valladolid, surpassing Pele’s record goal haul for Brazilian side Santos.

The 33-year-old Argentine, who matched Pele’s mark of 643 goals with a strike against Valencia on Saturday, scored the third goal in the 65th minute as Barca won 3-0 at Valladolid.

Pele scored 643 goals in 665 competitive games for Santos, while Messi needed 749 matches to break the record, although he did it in 17 seasons compared to the 19 the Brazil great needed.

Pele, now 80, made his Santos debut aged 15 in 1956 and left in 1974 after winning six Brazilian league titles plus two Copa Libertadores crowns, South America’s European Cup.

Messi, who made his first appearance for Barcelona aged 17 in 2004, has won 10 La Liga titles with the club plus four Champions League trophies with the Catalans.

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