There was big news in the football world last weekend, as the record was tied by Lionel Messi after scoring against Valencia in a 2 – 2 tie. Earlier today against Real Valladolid, it only took him 21 minutes to get on the score sheet, setting up Brathwaites opening goal. Add another 45 minutes to the clock, and he officially claimed the new record by cutting into the box from the left side and sliding it passed the keeper. Barcelona went on to win the game 3 – 0, ‘staying-put’ in 5th place.
The Argentinian took to social media shortly after to express his thoughts over his new triumph.
“When I started playing football, I never thought I would break any records, and even less the one that I achieved today that @pele had.
I can only thank everyone who helped me over the years, my team-mates, my family, my friends and everyone who supports me every day. Hug!!”
The number 10 club captain has now racked up 644 goals for Barcelona over the last 17 years at the club. It is quite the achievement to reach. Football can be a revolving door on it’s own, and to remain at a club for 17 years is an accomplishment itself. Then to be able to score 644 goals in that same kit, and break a record that has been in place since Pelé left Santos Fc in 1975, is a complete other phenomenon.
Messi can only add to this record, and looking at the football world, no current player has the realistic possibility of bettering this in the current / near future. Maybe 50 years in the future when his grandson’s son, Cristiano Messi, will score his 680th goal for Manchester United. Who knows what the distant future holds?
Pelé had this to say last week after the record was tied:
“When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path. Like you, I know what it’s like to love wearing the same shirt every day. Like you, I know that there is nothing better than the place we feel at home. Congratulations on your historic 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 increasingly rare in football. I admire you very much.”
With Covid 19, a paused / resumed 2020 season, an outgoing president and uncertainty over the future of the star player, this latest feat will allow the club and player to end the year on a high note.
Will Messi end up signing a new contract beyond the end of this season? Maybe this new record will add some weight to his decision.
Barcelona as a whole has been clear – no matter who wins the election, they will not be able to pay him what he has received as salary in the past. Like most clubs and companies across the globe, they have taken a significant financial loss due to the pandemic. Barcelona have one of the highest average club salaries in the world, and recently had to make some hard decisions offloading players for financial reasons. Notably star Luis Suarez, now employed by top of the table rivals Atletico Madrid.
Messi was angered over the transfer, and along with some other questionable moves management has made recently. This caused him to question the ambition of the club, and his future at the end of last season.
If he were to leave, there are only 2 teams who could realistically take on his enormous wage demands. Psg and Manchester City are interested, and both backed by very ambitious owners who are known for spending cash. (Neymar, Mbappe, City spending 500+ million euros on Guardiolas defense)
While the future remains unknown, Barca fans will need enjoy Messi and his constant record breaking seasons while they still can. One might take from Pelé’s message, he may be just another sad fan, if the club icon were to depart Barca.
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