Lionel Messi: Barcelona star breaks Pele scoring record in win over Real Valladolid

Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after missing a chance to score on Wednesday night.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after missing a chance to score on Wednesday night.

Valladolid, Spain - Messi's goal in the 3-0 rout was incredibly his 644th for the Spanish giants.

By AFP,, Reuters

Published: Wed 23 Dec 2020, 3:29 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Dec 2020, 3:55 AM

Barcelona turned on the style to thrash Real Valladolid 3-0 away in La Liga on Tuesday as Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal to surpass Pele as the all-time record scorer for a single club.

Messi finally got his first assist of the season when he picked out defender Clement Lenglet with a splendid cross and the Frenchman rose to head Barca in front after 21 minutes.

The Argentine also had a hand in Barca's second goal, laying on a pass for right back Sergino Dest to latch on to down the right flank and play a cross into the path of Martin Braithwaite, who slid in to score in the 35th minute.

Messi capped a brilliant individual and team display with a splendid goal midway through the second half, running in behind to meet a pass from teenager Pedri and slotting into the far bottom corner to eclipse Pele's scoring mark with Santos.

Messi almost scored a second in added time when he raced through on goal but fired against the post from a tight angle.

It was Barca's first away league win in five matches but they remain fifth, moving on to 24 points after 14 games.

Messi had equalled Pele on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Valencia.

The two men scored at almost an equal rate for their clubs.

It was the 33-year-old Argentine's 749th competitive match for Barca, meaning he has scored a goal every 1.16 games.

The Brazilian scored 643 goals in 757 matches with Santos, where he played 1956 to 1974, or one every 1.17 matches.

Messi, a six-time Golden Ball and six-time Golden Shoe winner, is by far the highest scorer in Barca history (Cesar Rodriguez is next on 230 goals), the highest scorer in the history of the Spanish Championship (451 goals, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo's 311), and the player who has won the most trophies with the Catalan club (34, including four Champions Leagues). 

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are top with 32 points of La Liga from 13 games after a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad earlier on Tuesday.

Second-half goals from Mario Hermoso and Marcos Llorente earned Diego Simeone's side a huge win away at a Sociedad team that started the fixture three points off the lead but are now six back in third after their third straight league defeat.

Champions Real Madrid, who sit second, can move level again with their city rivals with a home win over Granada on Wednesday.

After tomorrow's games, Real and Barcelona will have played two more matches than Atletico. Sociedad have played three games more than the leaders.

The win was Simeone's 300th league win as Atletico coach.

"It's means a lot, really a lot," the Argentine said.

"I came here with the idea of taking Atletico to the summit of the game ... I can't thank the club enough for what they have given me."

Sociedad were the better side in the first half but couldn't carve a goalscoring opportunity in an opening period without a shot on target.

Atletico went ahead just three minutes after the break when Hermoso found himself unmarked in the area and perfectly met Yannick Carrasco's free-kick to send a header flying into the bottom corner.

The hosts responded by pressing their opponents back but couldn't find a way through a typically well-organised Simeone team.

Atletico doubled their lead with 16 minutes remaining, Llorente lashing home  when the ball fell to him on the edge of the area.

Earlier Sevilla moved up to fifth after Suso fired them to a 1-0 win at struggling Valencia.

Suso gave the Andalusians the points with a thumping strike in the 81st minute after charging through to collect a Joan Jordan through ball.

The winning strike was the 27-year-old Spain international's first goal of the season.

Sevilla are nine points behind Atletico but two points in front of Barca.

Valencia are 13th and just a point above the relegation zone after their sixth consecutive league match without a win.

Collated Spanish La Liga results on Tuesday:

Real Valladolid 0 Barcelona 3 (Lenglet 21, Braithwaite 35, Messi 65)

Villarreal 1 (Yeremy 74) Athletic Bilbao 1 (Williams 19)

Real Sociedad 0 Atletico Madrid 2 (Hermoso 49, Llorente 74)

Huesca 1 (Ontiveros 31-pen) Levante 1 (Melero 53)

Elche 2 (Fidel 46, Carillo 78) Osasuna 2 (Garcia 10, Brasanac 64)

Valencia 0 Sevilla 1 (Suso 81)

Playing Wednesday (times UAE)

Getafe v Celta Vigo (8.30pm), Real Madrid v Granada (10.45pm), Real Betis v Cadiz, Alaves v Eibar (both 1am Thursday)

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