BARCELONA, (Reuters) – Lionel Messi matched Pele’s shot of 643 goals for Santos after scoring for Barcelona against Valencia in La Liga yesterday, matching Brazil’s big scoring record for one club.
Argentina, 33, hit the milestone goal with a diving header just before half-time just after his penalty was saved by Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech.
The goal made it 1-1 in Barca’s La Liga game and canceled Mouctar Diakhaby’s opener.
Pele scored 643 goals in 665 competitive games for Santos, while Messi needed 748 games to reach the count, though he did so in 17 seasons compared to the 19 Pele needed.
Pele, now 80, made his first appearance at Santos at age 15 in 1956 and left in 1974 after winning six Brazilian league titles along with two Copa Libertadores crowns, the equivalent of the South American Champions League.
Messi, who made his first appearance for Barcelona at the age of 17 in 2004, has won 10 La Liga titles with the club along with four Champions Leagues.