Barcelona: Lionel Messi less than 70 goals away from Pelé’s world record

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is going after Pelé’s record of 643 goals at club level

Pelé is said to be the greatest player of the 20th century, alongside Barcelona forward Lionel Messi’s compatriot Diego Maradona. The Brazil international led his nation to three World Cups, and is the record goalscorer for Santos, with 643 goals in 656 appearances in all competitions.

The centre-forward is the record goalscorer in the Campeonato Paulista with 470 goals in 412 appearances. He also scored 100 goals in 173 appearances in the Brasileiro, and 24 goals in 18 games in international competitions.

But Lionel Messi, the greatest player of the 21st century, is catching up to the Brazilian great. The Argentine maestro has 575 goals in 659 appearances in all competitions for Barça. Of course, he recently completed the tremendous feat of 400 goals in the La Liga.

The 32-year old right winger also has 106 goals in 129 appearances in the European competitions and 48 goals in 68 appearances in the Copa del Rey. Messi has scored 13 goals in 18 appearances in the Supercopa de España.

Messi has needs to score just 68 more goals to match Pelé’s record. It can be done in two seasons, taking into consideration his possible decline in the future. But he has not shown any signs of slowing down, and could complete this milestone by the end of next season.

While Cristiano Ronaldo could always reach the achievement before Lionel Messi, having scored 587 goals till date. But it seems unlikely, considering that the 33-year old Portuguese superstar has already started slowing down since joining Juventus from Real Madrid.