Lionel Messi passed Gerd Müller when it comes to goals for a single club, and now, only Pelé stands in front of him. With two goals in Barcelona’s 3-4 loss against Betis, Messi first tied and then went one goal ahead of the German legend’s record with Bayern Munich, which stood at 565. With 566 goals to his name, Messi needs 77 to draw level with Pelé’s record, which is 643.
Pelé boasts of having scored more than one thousand goals, although those include friendly matches, and depending on the count, can also include matches with the New York Cosmos or the Brazilian national team. However, taking only into account the goals that he has scored for his club Santos FC in official matches, O Rei notched 643 over 18 seasons. The majority came in the Campeonato Paulista, which is the league run by the state of São Paulo in Brazil. In those days, the various Brazilian state championships were stronger, but Pelé also scored in the national league as well as the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup, a forerunner to the FIFA Club World Cup.
Messi’s total does not include friendlies, either, nor goals for Barcelona B or Barcelona C, or the Argentine national team. Most of Messi’s goals have come in La Liga, with the UEFA Champions League coming second in terms of proportion.
He has averaged about 47 goals over the last three seasons, meaning if he matched that total this season and next season, he would be clear of Pelé. Considering Messi has 14 goals this season, we could imagine him getting 33 more by the end of the term. That would put him 44 short for next season, which seems an attainable goal.