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Santos deny Lionel Messi has overtaken Pele to goals record


Hold on, stop the presses, recall the Budweiser… Santos have a released a statement claiming that Pele, rather than Lionel Messi, still holds the record for most goals scored for one club.

[Audible gasps]

Messi netted his 644th career strike for Barcelona in a recent game against Real Valladolid, which was presumed to finally put him over and above Pele on football’s all-time scoring list for a single team.

However, Santos have now disputed this, releasing a statement in which they claim the legendary Brazilian actually netted an absurd 1,091 goals during his time with the Alvinegro.

“The 448 goals which they are trying to disqualif were scored against the main clubs from those seasons. Pele scored nine goals against each of Club America (Mexico) and Colo Colo (Chile), He also put eight past Inter Milan, one of the main European clubs in the 1960,” part of the meandering statement reads via the Santos website.

“The list is immense and with big clubs: River Plate, Boca Juniors, Racing, Universidad de Chile, Real Madrid, Juventus, Lazio, Napoli, Benfica and Anderlecht. Barcelona themselves, where Messi plays, were also one of Pele’s victims: four goals, scored in four games.”

Pele in his Santos kit back in the 60s | -/Getty Images

The crux of Santos’ argument is that it is unfair to dismiss goals scored by Pele in friendly matches. Ah…

“We must remember that clubs could only play friendlies with the approval of the regional and national federations,” the statement continues, defending their legend.

“That is one of the rules imposed by FIFA, the organiser of world football. Taking into account subjective attributes, like the strength of opponents, is not ideal for compiling statistical data.The numbers are absolute.

“A goal against Eibar is statistically the same as one scored versus Valencia. A goal against Transvaal (of Surinam) is worth the same as one scored against Real Madrid, in the middle of the Santiago Bernabeu.”

Pele himself has yet to weigh in on the ‘argument’, although he did congratulate Messi on breaking his record earlier this month.

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