BARCELONA

Messi continues to beat Pelé's records

After beating his record for most goals with a single club, Messi continues to match and break records held by Brazilian legend Pelé.

Messi continues to beat Pelé's records
ANDER GILLENEA AFP

Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo seem to have teamed up to break Pelé's football records that have sat at the top of game for decades. The Argentine star snatched a long-lasting record that the former Brazil forward had been holding for five decades as the greatest scorer in history for a single club, Santos, where he notched 643 goals in official matches. On December 22, Messi scored his 644th goal for Barcelona, thanks to the goal he scored in a 3-0 win against Valladolid. Three months later, Messi added his 662nd and 663rd, after a brace in Sunday's impressive victory against Real Sociedad.

After Messi's record came that of Cristiano Ronaldo, who surpassed Pelé as the top scorer in history, scoring goals for clubs and country. The Juventus forward reached 758 goals at the beginning of January, compared to the 757 of the Brazilian star. Ahead of both is the Austrian-Czech striker, Josef Bican, who between the 1930s and 1950s scored a staggering 805 goals.

On Sunday night, Messi was unplayable against a Real Sociedad side preparing for a Copa del Rey final. The Barca captain broke the record for most goals in a single European league, scoring his 467th. The record was previously held by Pelé, with 467 goals in the Brazilian League over almost two decades for Santos.

Messi leading European scoring charts by long way

In Europe's top five leagues, no-one has come close to Messi for a long time: Jimmy Greaves (357) in the Premier League, Gerd Müller (365) in the Bundesliga, Silvio Piola (274) in Serie A and Delio Onnis (299) in Ligue 1 are and will remain well behind.

Messi has 734 career goals for Barcelona and Argentina, just 23 shy of the Brazilian, another record he will no doubt break this season or next.