Lionel Messi has eclipsed Pele’s long-standing scoring record for a single club after netting his 644th goal for Barcelona.
Messi’s second-half strike in Barca’s 3-0 La Liga win at Real Valladolid took him past the 643 goals which Brazil great Pele had amassed over 19 seasons for Santos.
The moment arrived on 65 minutes when 18-year-old Pedri deftly rolled his boot over the ball to push it behind him to meet Messi’s run.
The slick pass left the Argentine superstar clear to beat goalkeeper Jordi Masip, who had denied him twice earlier in Tuesday evening’s game.
“When I began playing, I never thought I would break any record, much less the one I have surpassed today that belonged to Pele,” Messi wrote on Instagram.
“I only want to give my thanks to all those who have helped me all these years, my teammates, my family, my friends and those who support me every day.”
Pele congratulated Messi through Instagram, composing a message to his younger counterpart alongside an image of him hugging Ousmane Dembele. The message focused on how difficult and rare it is in football to build such an exceptional career with one club.
“When your heart overflows with love it’s difficult to change your path,” Pele wrote.
“Like you, I know what it is to love and wear the same shirt every day. Like you, I know there is nothing better than the place where we feel at home.
“Congratulations on your historical 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 ever rarer in football. I admire you a lot.”