In recent days, the football world has praised Lionel Messi for breaking the record of Brazilian legend Pele’s 643 goals for one club.
Ok, the rest of the world of football except one…
A detailed account has been released by Pele’s former club Santos explaining why, in their opinion, Barcelona forward Messi has not broken the record at all.
They say that Pele’s friendly goals count against his Santos total and, as a consequence, the record is 1,091 – implying that Messi has another 448 to go.
Santos’ comment, written by a member of the Association of Researchers and Historians of Santos FC, states: “The matches were played in official uniforms, with the official rules of the game and with a score sheet,”
“There are absolute numbers.
A goal against Eibar is the same as the one against Valencia, statistically.
“A goal against Transvaal (from Suriname) has the same value as a goal scored at Real Madrid, in the middle of the Santiago Bernabeu.”
Even Pele, who played between 1956 and 1974 for Santos, congratulated Messi last week in a social media post, but his former club is still reluctant to accept defeat.
They say regional and national federations have accepted their friendlies and “taking subjective attributes into account, such as the weakness of opponents, is not ideal for compiling statistical data”
The Brazilian club also points out that against big teams such as Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Boca Juniors, River Plate and even Barcelona themselves, some of Pele’s ‘friendly goals’ were scored.
We’re going to leave it to you to say…
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