— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 23, 2020
Lionel Messi scored Barcelona third goal in 3-0 victory and his 644th goal for his childhood club.
“When I started playing football I never thought I would break any records. And even less the one I achieved today,” Messi posted on Instagram shortly after the game.
“I can only thank all those who helped me over the years, my teammates, my family, my friends and all those who support me every day.”
Messi had equalled Pele’s record on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Valencia last week. The two of the greatest players of all time scored at almost an equal rate for their clubs. It was Messi’s 749th competitive match for Barca, meaning he has scored a goal every 1.16 games.
Pele scored 643 goals in 757 matches with Santos, where he played between 1956 and 1974, or one every 1.17 matches.
“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,” Pele wrote to Messi on Instagram after the Argentine tied the record.
“Congratulations on your historic record, Lionel. But above all, congratulations on your beautiful career in Barcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately, will be increasingly rare in football. I admire you very much.”
Lionel Messi, Club’s legend is by far the highest scorer in Barca history and also the highest scorer in the history of the Spanish league championship, Messi also the only player to have more trophies with one club (34 Trophies)
“I see Messi happy. He is working hard, and he is a very important part of our attacking game,” said Barca manager Ronald Koeman after the win.
Although, Pele still holds the record for most international goals by a South American with 77 for Brazil and behind him is Messi with 71 goals for Argentina.