The Barcelona captain has now scored more goals for a club than any other footballer.
Lionel Messi broke Pele’s club milestone when he scored his 644th career goal in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Valladolid on Tuesday.
Messi scored the feat in the 65th minute, aided by 18-year-old Pedro “Pedri” Gonzalez.
After Pedri received the ball near the edge of the field, he skillfully rolled his shoe over the ball to push it behind him and hit the Argentine’s run.
The smooth pass cleared Messi to beat goalkeeper Jordi Masip, who had made two appearances.
“When I started playing football, I never thought I’d break a record, especially the one I achieved from Pele today,” Messi wrote on Instagram after the game.
“I can only thank everyone who has helped me over these years, my teammates, my family, my friends and everyone who supports me every day.”
It’s another record for Messi, who joined Barcelona at the age of 13 and made his debut in 2004 at the age of 17.
“[The win] shows that we have a strong squad where there is a lot of competition for the playing time, ”said Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman.
“It shows that with a calendar full of games we can rest some players. We achieved this victory through good football. The team was focused from the start. “
Barcelona remained in fifth place, eight points behind Atletico Madrid.
Pele congratulates Messi
On Saturday, after Messi scored his 643rd goal and hit Pele’s record, the great Brazilian praised him on Instagram.
“When your heart is full of love, it is difficult to change your path,” he wrote.
“Like you, I know what it’s like to wear the same shirt every day. Like you, I know that there is nothing like the place where we feel at home.
“Congratulations on your historical record, Lionel. But above all, congratulations on your wonderful career in Barcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, are unfortunately becoming increasingly rare in football. I admire you very much, Leo Messi. “
The 80-year-old Pele made his debut in 1956 at the age of 15 in Santos and played for the club with a total of 665 competitive games until 1974.
The 33-year-old Messi tried to force his way out of Barcelona over the summer but was frustrated when then-President Josep Maria Bartomeu refused to let him go for free.
The captain has since reiterated his commitment to the club, with whom he has a contract until the end of the current season, although there is still much speculation about his future.
Messi also holds the record for the most Ballon d’Or wins, taking his sixth in 2019.