BARCELONA – Lionel Messi will close 2020 with a new brand to register on his record. The goal scored this Saturday against Valencia saw him reach the total number of 643 and, in this way, equal the legendary Pelé as the highest historical scorer in a single club.
After losing to Valencia, a penalty was scored in favor of the Catalans. Messi missed the charge against Doménech, but took advantage of the rebound to score with his head for the 1-1 set before ending the first half.
Pelé wrote them down for Santos between 1957 and 1974; Messi, who will obviously become number one alone, has been marking them for Barcelona since May 1, 2005, when he launched his account against Albacete.
Messi began his countdown to catch up with O Rei at the start of this season, which started with 634 goals under his belt.
He scored in the opening of the season against Villarreal and, after linking three games without a goal, he scored in the win against Ferencvaros. He was left blank in the Classical and again saw the door in Turin against Juventus, to repeat against Dynamo Kiev and, twice, in the win against Betis, a game in which, finally, he scored on the move after his first five goals of the campaign were penalties. The last one was marked against Levante. Until this Saturday, with his target against Valencia to add 10 goals in 17 games. And 643 in 747 since he debuted with the first team.
Messi launched his scoring account in what was his ninth official match with the Barcelona first team, closing the victory (2-0) against Albacete in the league championship that Barça won under Rijkaard. Since then and until today, Leo accumulates 450 goals in the regularity tournament, of which he is already the highest historical scorer.
His debut in the Champions League took five games. Debuting in December 2004 against Shakhtar Donetsk, it was on November 2, 2005 against Panathinaikos at the Camp Nou when the Argentine scored his first goal. Since then, Leo has scored 118 goals in 147 games, being the second highest scorer in the competition only behind, precisely, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Zaragoza was its first victim in the Copa del Rey, on a fateful night in the quarterfinals in which Barça was eliminated by the Aragonese team, who had won 4-2 in the first leg and only lost 2-1 in the azulgrana stadium. That happened on February 1, 2006 and since then he has added 53 goals in 75 games, being the fifth-highest scorer in a tournament in which his appearances have been spaced in recent years. Reaching the 81 goals that Telmo Zarra scored with Athletic ventures one of the most unattainable records for the Argentine.
On August 23, 2009, at the Camp Nou and against Athletic, Messi debuted his scoring account in the Spanish Super Cup, in a match that Barça beat 3-0 to win the title with a double from La Pulga, who from Since then he has reached 14 goals in 19 games, being the competition record, well ahead of Raúl, who added seven goals in 12 games.
The next tournament in which he entered his name was the Club World Cup, in the 2009 edition, which Barça won, defeating Estudiantes in the final. Leo, who scored a decisive goal in that final, made his debut against, in the semifinal against Mexican Atlante on December 16, when Guardiola’s team won 3-1. Messi is today the fifth highest scorer of the tournament with five goals in five games, Cristiano Ronaldo (seven goals in eight games) being the leader in the statistics.
Finally, it was not until August 26, 2011 that he registered his name as a scorer in the European Super Cup, which was his third appearance and opening the victory over Porto. Messi, until today, has played four games in the competition and has scored three goals, as many as Oleg Blokhin, Gerd Müller, Rob Rensenbrink, Van der Elst … and Radamel Falcao, leader in the standings since his three goals were scored in a single game, with Atlético de Madrid in 2012 against Chelsea, a duel defeated by the colchoneros 4-1.
By then, in 2012, Messi had already become the top historical director of Barcelona, since on March 20, 2012 he scored a hat-trick against Granada and reached 234 goals for the Barça club, surpassing the legendary César Rodriguez.
From then on, the records that ended up turning the Argentine into a unique footballer were succeeded until reaching the mark of Pelé, two years after climbing to second position.
It was on November 11, 2018, on a day when the Barça led by Valverde lost at the Camp Nou against Betis 3-4, Messi scored two goals that meant he reached a total of 566 goals for, in this way, surpass the 565 that Gerd Müller scored between 1964 and 1979 for Bayern Munich and be only behind Pelé, indisputable number one in the colors of Santos.
From there it was understood that the Brazilian’s mark would end up being reached by the Barça captain, who already in 2012 conquered the privilege of being the top scorer during a calendar year (91 goals) and who began this season with 634 goals, to nine of the Pelé brand, once all the records in Barcelona have been broken, first surpassing César Rodríguez as the greatest scorer in the history of the Barça club and, later, Telmo Zarra as the top scorer in the League, in which he accumulated 450 goals in 498 games.