We look into yet another unique record that Lionel Messi will surely reach, one that only legendary Pele achieved during his career at Santos.
Just last summer during the World Cup, we saw young Kylian Mbappé achieve a record that only King Pele had as the only teenager to score a brace in a knock-out stage of the competition, now Lionel Messi can get one of those unique records the King of Football has under his belt. During his career at Brazilian club Santos, Edson Arantes do Nascimento managed to score an incredible 643 goals in 757 official matches according to the IFFFHS (International Federation of Football, History, and Statistics). The Brazilian is credited with those goals only at club level and only playing for Santos FC, Leaving Lionel Messi very close to reaching the numbers that Pele had during his time as the FC Barcelona star. With the last hat-trick he scored against PSV Eindhoven, Lionel Messi reached 559 goals in 638 official matches for the Catalan club. Out of all those screams, Messi has scored 387 times in La Liga, 103 times in the Champions League, 48 times in Copa del Rey, 13 times in the Spanish Supercup, 3 in the European Supercup, and 5 more in the Club World Cup. All of these goals only playing for Barcelona, this leaves Cristiano Ronaldo completely out of this contest because his goals have been divided between the four clubs he has played in throughout his career.
Alfredo Di Stefano may not have played in a World Cup but it didn't matter. He was so good, he could have been Brazilian…? // Alfredo Di Stefano pode não ter jogado uma Copa do Mundo, mas isso não importa. Ele era tão bom, que poderia ter sido brasileiro… pic.twitter.com/AhUwsBE5r3
— Pelé (@Pele) September 16, 2018
This means that Lionel Messi only needs 84 more goals to reach Pele’s record, which is something entirely possible given that the Argentine is still at the top of his game and with at least five more years as a Barcelona player. Let us not forget that Lionel Messi was already capable of breaking another unique record back in 2012, which was Gerd Müller’s most goals in a natural year. Messi scored a staggering 73 goals only with Barcelona and 91 between his club and country during that amazing year for the Argentine. In fact, Messi had already reached Müller’s 552 goals for Bayern München with his last goal for Barcelona last season, and surpassed the German legend with his very first goal in La Liga against Alaves this tournament. Now there is only Pele’s record for Lionel Messi on the horizon and people still doubt him being one of the best players who ever lived. At this pace he is having, Lionel Messi would reach and surpass Pele’s stats in a couple of seasons and still playing at the top of his game. This would really be an all-time peak for the Argentine, who is always placed below the Brazilian legend because he has never won a World Cup trophy during his career for Argentina.
During 2012, Lionel Messi scored a world record 91 official goals for club (79) and country (12).
He is currently 91 goals shy of equalling Pelé's world record of most official goals for a single club.
*Stats with Santos and Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/pISeiS6iI1After Manuel Neuer got injured in 2017, Barcelona's number one, Marc-Andre ter Stegen took over the spotlight in Europe. One Ter Stegen took hold of...
— Chef (@champ_ian) July 16, 2018
But at club level, Messi’s career at Barcelona will be far greater than Pele’s time at Santos and we are even certain that the Argentine is completely capable of scoring 700 goals with his club only during his whole career, a number that no other football player has ever reached before. The next target for Lionel Messi this weekend will be Girona, as FC Barcelona will receive the other Catalan club at the Camp Nou on Sunday and the Argentine will be ready to keep growing those numbers. There is absolutely no one else who has even come close to Pele’s record and is still active, the players who are closest to the Brazilian are the previously mentioned Gerd Müller and Austrian striker Josef Bican who scored 534 goals for Slavia Prague between 1930 and 1940. Messi keeps this up despite having passed the 30-year old barrier, he keeps getting compared with legends unlike the rest of the players who keep getting compared with him. What Leo is doing right now, is something that we will never witness again and something that will remain in our memory until the day we die.
Of that long list of players, I will have to limit it to only the legends of the game and/or Messi's rivals for the purposes of this thread.
I'll cut straight to the point. The Top 3 in the GOAT of football debate are Messi, Maradona, and Pele. pic.twitter.com/M5cqSJJW3N
— Futbol Of Messi (@FutbolOfMessi) September 17, 2018
How long do you think it will take Messi to reach this record owned by Pele? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.