Lionel Messi, who went past Pele to become the highest goalscorer ever for a single club, said each and every one of the 644 goals he has scored for Barcelona FC has taken “sacrifice and hard work”.
Messi achieved the feat during Barca’s 3-0 win against Valladolid in La Liga on Tuesday.
The Argentine has now a staggering feat of 644 goals, all wearing the Barcelona FC shirt, across 17 seasons and 749 games. That surpasses the 643 goals that Pele scored for Santos.
“20 years ago, I began a journey determined to be the best player I can be and it has taken sacrifice and hard work to score every one of the 644 goals with the help of my teammates,” Messi said in a statement.
“Hopefully fans around the world will find inspiration in my story to commit to their craft no matter how hard the journey because everyone can achieve greatness if they believe in themselves. I’m excited to partner with Budweiser to share this journey with everyone,” he added.
There’s another Pele record that Messi has in his sight. The 77 goals that the Brazilian scored for his country are still a record on the South American continent. Messi has 71 for Argentina, and needs just six more to equal that number.
Meanwhile, former teammate and long-term friend of Messi, Carlos Puyol said he feels privileged to have played a part in the 33-year-old’s journey of becoming the “King of football”.
“I have seen first-hand the hard work Lionel Messi puts in to achieving greatness day in, day out. This record couldn’t have been broken without the dedication and commitment he has shown over the last 20 years and I feel privileged to have played a part in his journey to becoming the king of football,” Puyol said.
(With inputs from IANS)