Lionel Messi surpasses Pele’s all-time goal record and sets sights on Cristiano Ronaldo


Lionel Messi moved up to 758 career goals thanks to his double for Paris Saint-Germain against Club Brugge, moving him past Pele’s official goal tally and behind only Cristiano Ronaldo

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Lionel Messi wins record seventh Ballon d’Or: Darren Wells reports

Lionel Messi has overtaken Pele as the highest scoring South American footballer of all-time by netting twice for PSG against Club Brugge on Tuesday evening.

The Argentine superstar scored the third and fourth goals for Mauricio Pochettino’s side on the evening to propel them to a 4-1 victory.

His first of the night was the 757 th goal of Messi’s career – a number which took him level with Pele’s official career tally of goals – before he netted a second half penalty to take him up to 758.

It means that the PSG forward is now the second highest scorer of all-time, trailing Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo – who has scored 801 career goals.

Ronaldo scored his 800th and 801st goals against Arsenal last week, meaning that he had netted 686 club career goals alongside his 115 goals at international level for Portugal – another all-time record.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Where do Messi, Ronaldo and Pele rank among football’s greatest ever players? Let us know in the comments section below

The 36-year-old has scored a club-high 450 goals for Real Madrid, 130 for Manchester United, 101 for Juventus and five for Sporting Lisbon.

Messi scored a club record 672 goals for Barcelona – such a monumental number that it was higher than the second highest, third highest and fourth highest goal scorers combined.

The 34-year-old star has also added six goals to his tally in 14 appearances for PSG, whom he joined this summer, alongside his 80 goals for Argentina.

The number of goals that Brazilian all-time great Pele scored is a source of contention, and both he and his former club Santos refused to acknowledge that Ronaldo had surpassed his tally earlier this year.

A statement from Santos in January read: “The argument of some analysts is that so many of these 448 goals scored in friendly matches were faced with weak opponents, such as small or regional teams.

“Still, the matches were played in official uniforms, with the official rules of the game and with a score sheet.”

Pele basically co-signed this statement as he moved to update his Instagram biography which listed his all-time goal scoring record as 1,283, to include the ones he scored for Santos, Brazil and the New York Cosmos.

While Pele did score 1,283 goals throughout his career, a total of 526 of those came in unofficial friendlies and tour games – including matches he played for the Sixth Coast Guard in the military competition.

Pele officially scored 757 goals in 812 games across his career – a far greater goal-per-game tally than either Ronaldo or Messi have scored in their careers.

The former Brazil superstar famously never played for a European club, spending 18 years of his career at South American giants Santos before spending the final two years of his career at New York Cosmos.