The Argentine striker Lionel Messi is now the highest scoring South American footballer of all time after his brace in PSG’s victory over Club Brugge moved him above Brazilian superstar Pele. Messi scored the third and fourth goals for the club to help ease them to another Champions League victory, and made history in the process.
The first goal he bagged was, sensationally, the 757th goal of his career. This was a milestone which moved him level with Pele’s official tally. His second goal, a penalty in the second-half, saw him move into the top position with 758 goals.
During his spell at Barcelona, Messi hit 672 goals, and has since added six more to his collection from his 14 appearances for PSG so far. He also has 80 goals for Argentina, further adding to the jaw-dropping overall total.
However, there is a long on-going controversy whether Pele has scored the number of goals officially tied to his name.
The 81-year-old Brazilian legend, and his former club Santos, both refused to acknowledge that Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo overtook his goal tally earlier this year.
A statement from Santos back in January said: “The argument of some analysts is that so many of these 448 goals scored in friendly matches were faced with weak opponents, such as small or regional teams. Still, the matches were played in official uniforms, with the official rules of the game and with a score sheet.”
According to Pele and his club Santos, the all-time record of goals for the Brazilian striker stands at 1,283. Officially, Pele netted 757 goals in 812 games.
He never played for a club in Europe, though. Instead, he turned out for Santos for 18 years, and spent the last two years of his career with New York Cosmos.