Lionel Messi overtakes Pele's single club goal record

New Delhi: Breaking Pele's all-time scoring record for a single club. Messi scored his 644th goal for the La Liga giants on Tuesday, thereby going past the Brazilian great's tally of 643 for Santos during his stint with his hometown club for 19 seasons, between 1956 and 1974.

Messi, who matched Pele's record for most goals scored for a single club on Saturday against Valencia, surpassed the legendary footballer's tally when he scored during a 3-0 win at Valladolid.

"When I started playing football, I never thought I would break any records, especially the one I broke today, which was Pele's. I can only thank everyone who's helped me all these years, my teammates, my family, my friends, and everyone who supports me every day," Messi wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

Messi has taken 749 matches for 644 goals while Pele got it in quicker time as he needed just 665 competitive games for Santos for 643 goals. Messi scored his first goal for Barcelona in 2015 and has played 17 seasons with the Catalans. He has won 10 La Liga titles and as many as four Champions League titles with the side.

Notably, Pele had acknowledged Messi's feat, heaping rich praise on the Barcelona forward. The Brazilian legend also stressed that longevity of star players at a single club has become a rarity in modern-day football.

"Congratulations on your historical record, Lionel. But above all, congratulations on your beautiful career at Barcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately will be ever rarer in football. I admire you a lot," Pele wrote in a social media post.