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Lionel Messi Ties Legendary Pelé Record With Rare Headed Goal

Lionel Messi made history on Saturday, equaling a record that never would have been possible if he had left Barcelona as he wanted over the summer. With a rare headed goal in first-half stoppage time, Messi tied Pelé’s record for most goals with one club with the Argentine’s 643rd for Barça.

Moments before the record-tying goal, Messi had a penalty kick saved by Jaume Doménech, but Jordi Alba sent the ball back in off the rebound. Eventually the cross looped to the back post where Messi headed in.

It wasn’t pretty, but they all count. All 643 for Barcelona, in two fewer seasons than Pelé’s mark. Pelé scored 643 goals in 19 seasons with Santos.

Messi also has 71 international goals for Argentina to give him 714 total in his career. Because I know you’re wondering, Cristiano Ronaldo has 652 club goals and 102 international goals for 754 total. Ronaldo’s most with one team is 450 with Real Madrid. Both totals are staggering and worthy of GOAT status. 

Unfortunately for Barcelona, the rest of the match wasn’t so memorable. 

Messi’s goal just before the half canceled out an early goal when Mouctar Diakhaby headed in off a corner. Ronald Araújo put Barça in the lead with a nice volley (especially for a center back) seven minutes into the second half, but Maxi Gómez pounced to equalize in the 69th minute. 

Messi couldn’t break Pelé’s record despite a handful of efforts on goal in the second half, and the match finished in a 2-2 draw that was probably a fair result. 

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