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Lionel Messi’s second goal in Paris Saint-Germain’s comfortable 4-1 win over Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday was another for the history books and again drew comparisons to the legendary Pelé.
after kylian mbappe scored twice in quick succession to put psg up two goals in the first seven minutes, messi scored three just before halftime with a trademark effort from outside the area.
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messi – who is ranked no. No. 1 among the best forwards in the world on ESPN’s FC 100 for 2021, he followed up his excellent 20-yard effort with a 76th-minute penalty. That was Messi’s sixth goal for PSG since joining them in the summer. That, added to the 672 he has scored for Barcelona and the 80 he has scored so far for Argentina, brings his career total to date to 758, surpassing Brazil’s great Pele tally of 757 goals scored in “official” matches. ” (more on this later).
To put that in a modern context, only Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo (the #2 striker in 2021’s FC 100) is ahead of him on the list of active male footballers, after the Manchester United striker scored his 801st senior. club and national team goal in last week’s 3-2 win over Arsenal.
Messi has already taken a long-standing record from Pele after surpassing a three-time world cup winner’s club record last year. After joining Santos in 1956 when he was 15 years old, Pelé scored 643 goals in 659 appearances in official matches (domestic leagues and cups and continental tournaments) with the Sao Paulo club in a period of 19 seasons that came to an end in 1974. No one had ever scored more competitive goals for a single club and his phenomenal record stood for almost half a century until December 2020, when Messi scored against Real Valladolid to record his 644th senior goal for Barca Juvenil.
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When it comes to Pele’s all-time goal scoring record, the “official” goal tally of 757 remains controversial. depending on which source you consult (including the man himself), the 81-year-old can look back on a career in which his scoring feats topped the 1,000 mark. this is largely due to the inconsistent nature of some of the statistics dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, and the often false classification of “official” and “unofficial” matches. As such, there are many claims circulating about the true sum total of Pele’s career, and the exact figure varies greatly.
We’ve taken a major leap here, into four figures, as we look at those who count every single goal Pele scored – including youth matches, friendlies and exhibition games, none of which are counted as part of any contemporary players’ official competitive goal totals. As far as the folks over at Guinness World Records are concerned, Pele’s tally stands at 1,279 goals, which they have declared a world record and even given the man himself a certificate by way of proof. It doesn’t get much more official than that, does it?
Both FIFA, the world soccer governing body, and the South American soccer confederation, CONMEBOL, have stated that they count Pelé’s career goal tally at 1,281 goals in 1,363 games. The reason the Guinness tally is two goals behind the FIFA tally is that they refuse to acknowledge the two goals Pele scored in “special appearances” for Saints after officially ending his playing career on the New York Cosmos in 1977. .
however, fifa has since taken a more circumspect stance and now simply tends to generalize the number of goals in question as “over 1200” rather than quoting a specific number.
all this talk about pelé’s career total, including goals scored in club friendlies and tour games, has caused a lot of ridicule, and the joke is that the great striker counted the goals scored in his back garden in their quest to reach 1,000. However, as Santos club historian Odir Cunha told ESPN earlier this year, perhaps we should rethink the meaning of such matches.
“South America was the dominant force in soccer in the 1960s and 1970s,” he told ESPN’s Andrew Cesare Richardson in March. “while europe was going through a renaissance after the second world war, football lovers wanted to see the best players in the world in action, chief among them was santos de pele.
“European clubs attached great importance to these matches and there is much evidence of this. In 1961, having been undefeated in 16 consecutive matches in Europe, Santos lost the last match of their tour against Greek Olympiakos 2-1 This victory was so important for the hosts that it is written in the official club anthem.
“How can a simple ‘friendly’ have so much resonance? It was much more important than some official matches.”
On the subject of Pele’s official account, he said: “Pele scored 1,091 goals for Santos and 1,282 in his entire career. Of these, 448 were scored in what would be considered international friendlies and friendly tournaments.
“More than half of them were more important for Santos, their opponents and world football than many of the goals he scored in ‘official matches’.”
I have scored 1283 goals in my life,
but no matter what all historians and statisticians think: what about the man himself? Pele is happy to include each and every goal he has scored in his grand total, and yet even he has found one more to count than cunha. surely no one is going to claim a higher goal count?
not even the pele claim takes him past the 1,300 barrier. but the rsssf, which put his “official” goal tally at 775, put the total at a whopping 1,303 overall once goals scored in all friendly, exhibition, all-star and charity matches in which the Brazilian are thrown into the account. mix.
ironically, the rsssf logs state that there is a major stain on pele’s notebook. the big man failed to score in his only appearance in cup competition in 1987, 10 years after his retirement. the name of the competition? the pelé cup.