'Anyone can achieve greatness if they believe in themselves,' says Lionel Messi after breaking Pele's record

It was the 33-year-old Argentine's 749th competitive match for Barca, meaning he has scored a goal every 1.16 games.

FP Sports December 23, 2020 17:39:46 IST
'Anyone can achieve greatness if they believe in themselves,' says Lionel Messi after breaking Pele's record

Lionel Messi went past Pele's record for most goals for a single club in their win against Valladolid. AFP

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal for the Catalan side on Tuesday against Valladolid to become the leading goalscorer for a single club, going past Brazilian great Pele.

The Argentina forward scored Barca's third goal of the match, collecting Pedri's backheel and slotting the ball past goalkeeper Jordi Masip in the 65th minute.

Reacting to the feat, Messi said, “Twenty years ago, I began a journey determined to be the best player I can be and it has taken sacrifice and hard work to score every one of the 644 goals with the help of my teammates. Hopefully, fans around the world will find inspiration in my story to commit to their craft no matter how hard the journey because everyone can achieve greatness if they believe in themselves. I’m excited to partner with Budweiser to share this journey with everyone.”

Messi had equalled Pele on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Valencia.

The two men scored at almost an equal rate for their clubs.

It was the 33-year-old Argentine's 749th competitive match for Barca, meaning he has scored a goal every 1.16 games.

The Brazilian scored 643 goals in 757 matches with Santos, where he played between 1956 and 1974, or one every 1.17 matches.

Former teammate and long-term friend of Lionel Messi, Carlos Puyol said, “I have seen first-hand the hard work Lionel Messi puts in to achieving greatness day in, day out. This record couldn’t have been broken without the dedication and commitment he has shown over the last 20 years and I feel privileged to have played a part in his journey to becoming the King of Football.”

To celebrate the occasion, Budweiser has created a limited run of 644 bottles, individually numbered from 1 to 644 to represent every goal scored. Each bottle will be gifted to the 160 goalkeepers Messi scored against, including greats such as Gianluigi Buffon, David de Gea, and Jan Oblak.

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