Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is on course to smash a long-standing record that had once been regarded unbreakable: the 643 goals scored by Edson Arantes do Nascimiento, AKA Pelé, in his 18 years at Brazilian club Santos.
Until the Argentine’s arrival on the scene, no player had menacingly threatened to outdo the three-time World Cup winner’s Santos haul, garnered between 1956 and 1974.
Only Gerd Müller, who hit 565 goals for Bayern Munich from 1964 to 1979, had come anywhere near the figure.
However, Messi’s strike against Sevilla on Sunday left him on 604 career goals for the Blaugrana, just 39 behind Pelé.
Given that he has scored over 40 times for Barça in each of the last 10 campaigns, Messi looks well-placed to overtake the Brazilian this term.
In his 691 Barcelona appearances since making his debut in 2004, Messi has scored 420 goals in LaLiga, 112 in the Champions League, 51 in the Copa del Rey, 13 in the Spanish Super Cup, five in the Club World Cup and three in the UEFA Super Cup.