Santos DISPUTE claim that Messi has broken Pele's one-club goal tally

Santos DISPUTE claim that Lionel Messi has broken Pele’s one-club goal tally with his 644th strike and argue that the Brazilian icon actually scored 1,091 times for them

  • Lionel Messi scored against Real Valladolid to break Pele’s record of 643 goals 
  • Santos have rejected claims that Messi has broken his one-club scoring record
  • They insist that Pele actually scored 1,091 times in 18 years for them 

Lionel Messi thought he had broken Pele’s one-club goal-scoring record at Santos with his 644th goal for Barcelona against Real Valladolid.

But according to Santos, Messi actually needs to score another 447 times to match Pele’s real goal tally for the club.

The Brazilian club have released a lengthy statement , in which they insist that Messi did not break the record of Pele which was believed to have stood at 643.

Lionel Messi broke Pele’s record for goals at a club with his 644th strike at Barcelona

But Santos have rejected the claims saying that Pele actually scored 1,091 times for them

In their statement, they say that Messi actually needs 1,091 goals to match the Brazilian icon’s record. 

The club say that Pele scored an additional 448 times in matches and friendly competitions which were deemed to to be at a lesser value.

It is claimed that the Brazilian icon’s goals against the likes of River Plate, Boca Juniors, Real Madrid, Juventus, Lazio, Napoli, Benfica and Anderlecht are not included in the official tally, nor are eight goals against Inter Milan or four goals against the Blaugrana.

The statement on their official website said: ‘The argument of some analysts is that so many of these 448 goals scored in amiable disputes were in front of fragile opponents, such as small selections or regional combined. 

‘Still, the matches were played in official uniforms, with the official rules of the game’

‘We have to remember that clubs could only play friendlies with the endorsement of regional and national federations, one of the rules imposed by FIFA, the organiser of world football. 

If Santos’ claims are correct then Messi would need another 447 goals to match the record

‘Taking into account subjective attributes, such as fragility of opponents, is not ideal for compiling statistical data. The numbers are absolute. A goal against Eibar is worth the same, statistically, than the one scored against Valencia. 

‘A goal against Transvaal (from Suriname) has the same value as Real Madrid in the middle of the Santiago Bernabéu. 

‘Even this separation of ‘official goals’ is a recent fact, after all publications of European clubs and athletes count the friendly matches in their statistics.’

Pele achieved his goal scoring feat for Santos between 1956 and 1974, while Messi is in his 17th season at the Nou Camp after making his first-team debut in 2004.

The Brazilian legend took to Instagram to congratulate Messi after his goal against Real Valladolid.

Pele paid tribute to Messi after the Argentine superstar broke his record this month

He said:  When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path,’ he wrote. ‘Like you, I know what it’s like to love wearing the same shirt every day. Like you, I know that there is nothing better than the place we feel at home.

‘Congratulations on your historic record, Lionel. But above all, congratulations on your beautiful career at @fcbarcelona.

‘Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately will be increasingly rare in football. I admire you a lot, @leomessi.’ 

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