Messi is 12 goals from reaching 700 before facing Espanyol on Saturday (6). There are 618 for Barcelona and 70 for the Argentine team. Barça's number makes Spanish newspapers start the countdown to reach … Pelé.
From European statistics, with only goals in official competitions, Pelé scored 643 times for Santos.
Messi is therefore 25 to equate the King as the top scorer for a club in football history.
It turns out that, by the Santos numbers, always accepted in Brazilian football, Pelé scored 1.091 times with the shirt of Santos, from a total of 1,282 in career career.
The list with 643 goals by Santos is not unfair, is current, but compares incomparable things. The calendars were different, the realities different. Santos based its accounts not on marketing contracts or on television broadcasting.
The friendlies were a source of revenue, and the excursions made Pelé play 103 matches in 1959, the year he reached his goal record: 126 in 12 months. The season's tally includes 35 matches against international opponents, from the Costa Rican and Bulgarian teams to clubs such as Internazionale and Barcelona.
It was such a different time that it was hard to say whether it was harder to face Barcelona in a friendly match or Botafogo in Ribeirão Preto for the Paulista Championship.
Complete information is never expendable. Hence it is fair to say that Messi can match Pelé in the next two months in number of goals for a club in official competition matches.
But claiming to become the biggest scorer in history for a team, as the Catalan daily says, bumps into the notion of time and customs.
On the night of December 31, ESPN replayed the spectacular program about Pelé's thousandth goal, marked in Maracanã against Vasco, on November 19, 1969. By today's look, Pelé would never have celebrated a thousand goals that Wednesday night, because the King closed that year with 648 goals scored in his career in official games. .
The first took place on September 7, 1956, in a friendly against the Corinthians of Santo André, and eternalized goalkeeper Zaluar as the victim. Zaluar would not be known if we spoke only of goals for championships.
Pele has on his list of 1,282 goals, 19 for the Army team, but all from the moment he turned pro. Romário has scored 1,002 goals, but his tally begins at the children's pottery.
All the others who claimed at some point to have a thousand goals or more, cases of Brazilian Friedenreich, Hungarian Puskas or Austrian Bican, have no listings with the date, place and game they scored.
Messi has his relationship, probably the fairest of all. This does not exclude considering the previous ones, made when people considered different things.
It is undeniable that Messi has something none of Pelé's challengers had after the King left the fields: he is a top scorer. Maradona did not score so many goals, Zidane much less, Di Stéfano scored 504, and Ronaldo Phenomenon scored 414.
Cristiano Ronaldo has 712 goals in official matches, 55 fewer than the King, and Messi, who challenges him more closely as top scorer for a club – in official games.
The new year will bring new discussion and deserve old completion.
As much as Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo approach Pelé in goals for official matches, Pelé's games were counted in another time and with another look. They were goals from another world.
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