After scoring against Villarreal to become the joint-record scorer in Europe, tied with Bayern Munich icon Gerd Muller on 525 goals, Lionel Messi now has Pele and Xavi Hernandez to beat.
In 560 appearances for Brazilian club Santos, Edson Arantes do Nascimiento, better know as Pele, scored 541 goals, according to the rankings published by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).
The legendary forward insists he bagged 1,283 goals, adding goals in friendly matches. IFFHS only takes into account top-flight goals.
For that reason, Lionel Messi is 16 goals away from from levelling with the three-time World Cup winner with Brazil, often considered the all-time greatest footballer. Messi could hunt him down as soon as next year.
Impressive, but it is not the only haul within the Argentine’s reach. He is 22 wins away from Xavi’s record 322 victories for Barcelona. He would also have to compete with current team-mate Andres Iniesta, who has made a few more appearances than him for the club.