Lionel Messi equalled Pele’s one-club goals record but it was not enough for Barcelona as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Valencia’s in yesterday’s entertaining LaLiga clash.
The Argentine, 33, scored a diving header just before half-time immediately after his penalty was saved by Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech.
Messi scored his first goal for Barca in 2005 against Albacete. Pele, 80, scored 643 goals in 19 seasons for Brazilian side Santos between 1956 and 1974.
The superstar forward notched his 643rd goal for the Catalan giants on the brink of half-time, scoring in the aftermath of having a penalty saved by Jaume Domenech.
That milestone goal cancelled out Mouctar Diakhaby’s deserved opener for Valencia, and Ronald Araujo then put the hosts in front with an acrobatic strike – his first Barcelona goal at senior level.
But Barca could not hold on for a third straight league win – and a fifth in a row at Camp Nou – as Maxi Gomez prodded in 21 minutes from time to inflict another title blow on Ronald Koeman’s men.
Koeman named an attack-minded line-up that contained just one holding midfielder and Barca were regularly caught out at the back, Marc-Andre ter Stegen bailing his side out with a good save to deny Carlos Soler.
Valencia were winless in four league games prior to this clash and were taken to extra time by lower-league side Terrassa in the Copa del Rey in midweek, but they opened the scoring in Catalonia through Diakhaby’s free header in the 29th minute from a Soler corner.