Lionel Messi reminisced on breaking Pele's record as the Barcelona superstar insisted his latest achievement exceeded his wildest dreams.

Messi set a new one-club goals record after netting for the 644th time – the Barca captain surpassing Pele's haul in Tuesday's 3-0 LaLiga victory at Real Valladolid.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi, who matched Pele against Valencia on Saturday, scored his 451st LaLiga goal as Barca eased past Valladolid.

Messi used social media to react to the historic feat after Pele had tallied 643 goals in an 18-year career at Brazilian club Santos.

"When I started playing football, I never thought I would break any records," Messi wrote on Instagram. "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!!"

Messi's 644 goals have come across 17 seasons and 749 games for Barca, where the 33-year-old debuted in 2004.

His effort against Valencia made Messi the first player to reach the 450 milestone for a single club in any of Europe's top five leagues.

Lionel Messi surpassed Pele's one-club goals record as he helped Barcelona end their winless streak on the road in LaLiga with a convincing 3-0 victory over struggling Real Valladolid.

Having drawn level with Pele's haul of 643 goals for Santos with a header in a 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday, Messi made it 644 in Barca colours across all competitions on Tuesday.

Having created Clement Lenglet's opener before playing a key part in Martin Braithwaite making it 2-0 before the interval, Messi swept home from Pedri's clever flick in the 65th minute.

It rounded off a fine performance from Ronald Koeman's side, who ended their winless run in LaLiga away games at the fifth time of asking.

Lionel Messi has set a new one-club goals record after netting for the 644th time as a Barcelona player, surpassing Pele's haul.

Messi matched the total of 643 goals that Brazil legend Pele – one of the greatest players to grace the game – racked up in an 18-year career at Santos.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner headed in his record-equalling goal against Valencia on Saturday and surpassed Pele's tally on Tuesday.

Having created the opener with a cross for Clement Lenglet and played a crucial role in Barca's second against Real Valladolid, Messi swept home after latching onto Pedri's clever flick in the 65th minute to make it 3-0.

As well as taking him past Pele, it was also Messi's 451st goal in LaLiga.

His effort against Valencia made the 33-year-old the first player to reach the 450 milestone for a single club in any of Europe's top five leagues.

Zinedine Zidane was frustrated by Ronald Koeman's complaints about refereeing decisions in Real Madrid's favour, insisting he would never engage in such a debate. 

Barcelona coach Koeman said on Monday he could not understand the failure to award a penalty to Eibar late in their 3-1 defeat to Madrid. 

Eibar trailed by just a single goal at the time when the ball appeared to strike Sergio Ramos on the arm inside the penalty area. 

No spot-kick was given and the on-field decision was not reviewed, a call Koeman claimed nine out of 10 people would disagree with. 

These comments were relayed to Zidane on Tuesday, to which he replied: "It has been annoying because I never get involved with the referees. 

"I think the referees are in charge of the game and they do a good job. Like everyone here, they just try to do their job. I never get involved with them. It's a very difficult job. 

"What Koeman said I'm not going to get into that. We have an important game tomorrow [against Granada], a very demanding game, and that's the only thing we're thinking about."

In fact, Zidane believes decisions go against Madrid more often than not. 

The reigning champions have won just two penalties in LaLiga this term, half as many as Barca (four) and well short of Real Sociedad's league-leading seven. 

At the other end of the pitch, Madrid have conceded five spot-kicks, trailing only Real Betis (seven) and Real Valladolid (six) in this regard. 

"It's true that in every game we are unlucky with penalties, but I'm not too focused on that really," Zidane told the media. 

"The only thing we're interested in is tomorrow's game. That's what interests us. It's very important to us. We have to be concentrated. 

"The most important thing for us is just to keep doing what we're doing now. We're in very good form and [will] try to win all three points tomorrow." 

Zidane was also asked about the news of Iker Casillas returning to the club as assistant to the general director at the Real Madrid Foundation. 

The Frenchman said: "We know the person Iker is, we know what he has done, we know what he means for being a Madridista. I think it's good news for everyone. 

"It's his club, the club that's in his heart, and he's going to work and going to continue to do what he knows. I'm very happy for him and for the club. I think it's very good news indeed."

Lionel Messi is looking forward to football getting back to normal after admitting it is "horrible" to play games without fans present inside stadiums. 

Due to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leagues across Europe continue to carry out fixtures behind closed doors in the 2020-21 season. 

This was also the case to finish the previous campaign, meaning Messi has not played in front of supporters at Camp Nou since LaLiga was paused in March. 

The Argentine superstar feels the impact of empty venues has been felt on the pitch too, as it negates any home advantage for teams and leads to more even contests. 

"It's horrible to play without fans. It's not a nice feeling," Messi told Marca after picking up the Pichichi award for finishing as LaLiga's top scorer in 2019-20. 

"Not seeing anyone in the stadium makes it like training, and it takes a lot to get into the game at the beginning.  

"That's why we see such even games. It's very hard to win whoever you are playing against. 

"The pandemic has caused football to change a lot, and for the worse. We are seeing it in games. Hopefully after all this is over, we can get people back into the stadiums and get back to normal."

Barca have certainly found it tough going in the league so far this campaign.

While Ronald Koeman's side have lost just once – against reigning champions Real Madrid – at home, they will go into the mid-season break off the pace in the title race. 

Messi acknowledges a slow start has left them with work to do in LaLiga, though he believes the situation could have been different had they been more ruthless in front of goal. 

"We are going to try and win everything, as is always the case with this club. We are improving little by little," he said.

"It's true to say that it took us a little while to get going in LaLiga. We shouldn't have dropped so many points.

"I think we deserved more in the games against Deportivo Alaves and Gefate, and also against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.

"In those three games we created a lot of goalscoring chances, and if we had converted them, the situation in those games would have been different."

While committed to helping Barca succeed on all fronts this season, Messi's long-term future at the club remains unclear having pushed to leave in the previous transfer window. 

The 33-year-old is in the final year of his contract and has been heavily linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester City and Manchester United are set to battle it out for the signature of Bayern Munich's star defender David Alaba.

Alaba's Bayern contract expires in June 2021 and both Manchester clubs have made approaches for the 75-cap Austria international.

Pep Guardiola coached the 28-year-old during his time in the Bundesliga, but City may face further competition for the two-time Champions League winner.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY SET FOR TUG-OF-WAR OVER ALABA

Manchester City and Manchester United have each made formal contact with Alaba 's agent Pini Zahavi, reports Spanish media outlet AS.

Bayern's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accepted the European champions can do nothing to keep Alaba, despite trying "everything" to convince the nine-time German league champion to stay.

But the Manchester rivals are not the only interested parties, with Real Madrid the favourites to land Alaba, according to the Daily Mail.  Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also in the race.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton left-back  Lucas Digne  is another player on Guardiola's wish list, say the Daily Mail. The Toffees are set to offer the France international a bumper new contract to ward off  City 's advances, according to the Times.

PSG  are lining up a bid for Atletico Madrid's wantaway goalkeeper  Jan Oblak , say the Daily Mail. The Ligue 1 champions see 27-year-old Oblak, who wants a new challenge, as the successor to 34-year-old gloveman Keylor Navas in the French capital.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said he cannot understand how Real Madrid avoided conceding a crucial late penalty in their win against Eibar.

Zinedine Zidane's side clung on for a 3-1 victory after Lucas Vazquez's stoppage-time strike clinched all three points at Municipal de Ipurua.

Karim Benzema and Luka Modric had fired the Spanish champions into a two-goal lead inside 13 minutes before Kike hit back for the home side before the half-hour mark.

Eibar were pushing for a late equaliser when the hosts had appeals for a penalty turned down after the ball appeared to strike the arm of Sergio Ramos inside the penalty area.

Eibar head coach Jose Luis Mendilibar fumed about the incident, which was not reviewed by referee Jose Luis Munuera Montero.

Madrid's fifth straight win in all competitions left them level on points with Atletico but Koeman hinted Los Blancos were fortunate.

"The day of the Madrid match, I said something that doesn't need to be repeated," Koeman said.

"I think there are things that cannot be understood. I'm sure that if you ask 10 people if yesterday's game is a penalty, nine will say yes.

"The referee and his team have decided not to call it. But, well, we know."

Following Barca’s 2-2 draw against Valencia at Camp Nou, Koeman’s side sit fifth in the LaLiga table, eight points behind Atleti and Madrid.

The Catalans face 18th-placed Real Valladolid on Tuesday at Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

Joan Laporta wants Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona and believes he has an advantage over the other presidential candidates.

Messi, 33, is coming out of contract at the end of the season, having sensationally requested to leave Barca ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

Previously president between 2003 and 2010, Laporta is running again, with the election to take place on January 24.

The 58-year-old wants Messi to remain at Barca and feels he has an advantage over the other candidates.

"If I win the elections, I want to make a very competitive proposal and I know he will listen to me. I want him to stay," Laporta told RAC1.

"I have an advantage over others, he knows I've always fulfilled what I said. We have a good relationship, we appreciate each other and we respect each other.

"If I'm the president, I think that there are options to follow."

Sitting fifth in the LaLiga table, Barca have also continually been linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, who left the club in 2017.

But Laporta was unwilling to be drawn into discussing the Brazil international, saying speculation could hurt Ronald Koeman's team.

"Neymar? I won't talk about players during the campaign because it can destabilise the team," he said.

"They are attentive to any history in the environment. I don't want anyone inside to tell me that I'm a destabiliser."

Barcelona visit Real Valladolid in LaLiga on Tuesday.

After eight years and almost 300 appearances for Espanyol, Victor Sanchez is embarking on his first journey outside of Europe.

Sanchez now calls Australia's Western United home following Espanyol's relegation from LaLiga in 2019-20, having spent 14 years in Spain and a brief stint with Neuchatel Xamax.

The versatile 33-year-old had not envisaged packing up and relocating his family 16,816km away to Melbourne, but the coronavirus pandemic changed his plans as Western United came calling.

"It is a league that wasn't in my plans and I hadn't thought about it because it is a very far country as well," Sanchez, who ranks fourth for most Espanyol appearances behind Raul Tamudo, Mauricio Pochettino and Javi Lopez, told Stats Perform News.

"But when I had the chance, looking a little to everything and this league's level, because it is very well organised league, serious league and serious country also regarding coronavirus, I thought it was a great opportunity for me and the family as well."

Sanchez is among the growing number of Spaniards moving to Australia after former Espanyol team-mate Lopez also joined Adelaide United.

Former Athletic Bilbao pair Markel Susaeta and Benat have reunited at Macarthur FC for their inaugural season, while ex-Getafe attacker Diego Castro continues to star with Perth Glory.

"I didn't know much about the A-League," Sanchez said. "When I had the chance to come here I started looking at it and I also spoke with people that had played here: with Juande that was in Perth, with Markel Susaeta that was in Melbourne City last year, [former Western Sydney Wanderers striker] Oriol Riera and [former Melbourne Victory midfielder] Raul Baena.

"Footballers that have played here and everyone was telling me the same thing, that it is a spectacular experience, a great, great experience and life level, family level, and then because it is a league that, even though doesn't have the level of the Spanish league, is still a league physically strong and above all very well organised. Very serious league and I believe that at my age, with my career, I don't want surprises and I wanted to come to a league where things were properly done."

Sanchez brings a wealth of experience to Mark Rudan's Western United, who reached the A-League semi-finals in their first season in the competition.

The Catalonia-born midfielder – also adaptable in all defensive positions – emerged from Barcelona's youth system in 2005 and eventually made his debut for the first team in 2008.

Under the leadership of Pep Guardiola, Sanchez was part of the star-studded Barca squad that won the Champions League, LaLiga and Copa del Rey in 2008-09 – playing alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Yaya Toure, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Samuel Eto'o.

"My relationship with him was very good," Sanchez said as he discussed working with Guardiola at Camp Nou. "I was with him in the second team, Barca B, and were promoted from the third division to the Second B Division, from the fourth league to the third league in Spain and it was truly a beautiful year, the first one of him as a coach.

"He then moved to the first team and he promoted Sergio Busquets and me to the first team as well, even though we still belonged to the youth team, but to be within the first team dynamic. That year was truly incredible, the season 2008-09 when we won Liga, Copa and Champions League, a fantasy year. Afterwards I have kept relation with him when I have played against him and we have talked quite a lot.

"Now I haven't talked to him for a long time, but he is very innovative in everything he does. He is a genius, there isn't many like him. I was lucky enough to share a locker room with Guardiola."

Sanchez made seven LaLiga appearances in 2008-09, and 12 across all competitions, before being loaned out to Xerex and Getafe in 2009-10 and 2010-11. A six-month stint in Switzerland followed, but after 16 games the Barcelona native returned home.

However, this time, Sanchez – among a select few to play for both clubs – crossed the divide to link up with neighbours Espanyol in 2012.

"It's different to play for Barcelona than to play for Espanyol. The rivalry of the derbies. I think it is lived differently from Barcelona than from Espanyol," Sanchez said. "From the Barcelona perspective, rivalry exists, but nothing compares from the Espanyol perspective towards Barca.

"At Espanyol, for you it's like a final or a title to be able to win against Barcelona. Nowadays the economic differences are huge, so it is very difficult to win a match against Barcelona playing for Espanyol. I was there like nine years and was lucky to win one derby, in the Copa del Rey, in the first leg. When that happens it's when you realise how difficult it is. You also notice how they want to win too even though they see the rivalry differently."

Sanchez joined forces with Pochettino as the Argentine coach made a name for himself at Espanyol before moving on to Southampton and Tottenham.

"He is a great coach," Sanchez, who backed the former Spurs boss to make the move to Real Madrid, added. "I was with him a short time. I arrived at Espanyol when he was there and it can be said that he bought me for the club. You could already see that he had what it takes to be a great coach with his ideas, how he worked with the team, he was very demanding.

"I think it was clear he would reach the top. I had a very good relationship with him. I was like six or eight months with him and it was a great coach in my career."

While Pochettino eventually departed for Premier League side Southampton less than a year later, Sanchez continued to help fly the flag for Espanyol.

Sanchez went to battle in the Derbi Barceloni – a derby dominated by Barca – renewing acquaintances with ex-Blaugrana team-mates Messi and Pique in heated showdowns – the rivalry coming to a head in a fiercely contested 1-1 draw at RCDE Stadium in February 2018.

Espanyol's Sanchez went head-to-head with six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi in wet conditions, and he added: "Messi is a very special player, different than the rest. I think he particularly likes to play against Espanyol.

"It is true that we played a very hot derby that ended up in a tie with Pique's goal around minute 80. It was raining, a hard match, beautiful, sentimental. Messi is the best player of the world, above the rest. To win against him, to steal the ball off him or make things difficult for him is a personal triumph. Because as I said, he is very above from the rest."

Fast forward to December 2020 and Sanchez is determined to taste success with Western United after experiencing Espanyol's painful relegation to the second tier of Spanish football for the first time since 1993.

"I want to win, be on the top and make the team to be as high as possible. The A-League is economically very equal between teams, a bit similar to MLS where budget is close," said Sanchez, who had a passing accuracy of 80.5 per cent in 25 LaLiga appearances last season.

"If you make a good team, a good year and if you have confidence, you can fight for anything. Hopefully we will be lucky enough to come back to the play-offs and this time be able to be in semi-finals or the final and can be champions."

Sanchez, who registered 116 recoveries and 27 interceptions, while he won possession on 116 occasions in 2019-20, added: "I have signed for two years but my plan is to stay more and hopefully that will be possible. After my experience in Spain having played quite a lot of matches, a long career, I was looking for a change. It will be also positive for us to learn the language. My English is basic at the moment.

"After 13 or 14 years playing in LaLiga it was a bit exhausting."

Lionel Messi's motivation and hunger to succeed at Barcelona has never been in question, according to head coach Ronald Koeman.

The Argentina international failed in his attempt to engineer a move away from Camp Nou during the close-season but is set to become a free agent at the end of the campaign.

He has not always been at his best this season and has admitted in a new interview with LaSexta that the saga surrounding his future has affected his performances.

"The truth is today I'm fine," Messi said in a short excerpt released by RAC1 on Monday. "Today I'm fine and I feel like fighting seriously for everything we have ahead of us.

"I'm excited. I know the club is going through a difficult time, at club and team level, and it is difficult everything that surrounds Barcelona but I'm looking forward to it."

Messi has gradually improved as 2020-21 has gone on and has five goals in his last seven LaLiga matches, having failed to score or assist in five matches in October.

The superstar forward's comments were welcomed by Koeman but the Dutchman insists he never doubted Messi's determination to succeed after seeing his exit blocked.

"I don't need to see the Messi interview to know just how hungry and motivated he still is," Koeman said at a news conference previewing Tuesday's LaLiga trip to Real Valladolid.
 
"I see him with his team-mates every day. It's tough for any player who has won as much as him to not win every match he plays.

"But the squad is very united, albeit unhappy with the results. Leo is integrated in the side and helping us to improve things."

Messi's goal in Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Valencia was his 643rd for Barcelona, equalling Santos great Pele's one-club goals record.

Barca are eight points adrift of Atletico Madrid having played a game more than the leaders and are winless in four away league matches, last going five without a win in 2008.

Koeman accepts that results have to improve, with the under-fire head coach putting his side's inconsistent results down to a high turnover of youngsters in the first team.

"We have changed a lot of things," he said. "With younger players come a bit of irregularity. For the future it is a good thing but at Barca we have to win titles.

"It is a complicated situation we are in and time is needed, but we are Barcelona and we want to win.

"We will need to have maximum concentration against Valladolid. Every game we do not win is a step backwards for us.

"There are many games ahead in which many things can happen. We have lost a few away games and cannot fail again. There is pressure on the team to close the gap."

Ousmane Dembele is back in full training following another spell on the sidelines with a hamstring issue aggravated earlier this month.

However, Koeman confirmed the France international will play no part at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla, while Gerard  Pique, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto are also out.

Barca have won 12 of their last 13 LaLiga games against Valladolid, their only defeat in that run coming in March 2014.

Neymar is welcome to reunite with Lionel Messi but first he must ask for forgiveness following his acrimonious Camp Nou exit three years ago, Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Farre has insisted.

The Brazil international spent four trophy-laden seasons in Catalonia, forming a formidable partnership alongside Messi and Luiz Suarez, before joining Paris Saint-Germain for a record €222million in 2017 after his release clause was triggered.

Neymar has scored 50 times in 59 Ligue 1 outings since arriving at PSG and assisted a further 29 - only team-mate Kylian Mbappe (99) has been directly involved in more goals in the competition in that time.

During his time with Barca, meanwhile, he was directly involved in 164 goals in 186 appearances, helping the club to eight trophies.

He left Barca under a cloud and has since been embroiled in a court battle with his former club over an alleged breach of contract and unpaid loyalty payments.

However, the superstar forward caused a stir earlier this month when saying he wants nothing more than to link up with Messi again next year.

PSG are rumoured to be readying an offer for soon-to-be free agent Messi, but Farre - in the running to succeed Josep Maria Bartomeu as the LaLiga giants' next president in January's elections - has suggested the pair could play together at Barca.

"Neymar will be welcome but the first thing he has to do is withdraw his demands and ask for forgiveness," he told RAC1. 

"We have spoken to his people and they have told us about 'going home'.

"Who doesn't want the third-best player in the world on their team? There is an option of a transfer request, which would see him come for €40-45m."

Messi failed in an attempt to engineer a move away from Barcelona in the close season but is due to be out of contract at the end of the campaign, meaning he is able to open talks with other clubs from next month.

Manchester City and Inter have been linked with the Argentina international, but reports from Spain last week suggested PSG are the frontrunners for Messi's signature, although his father and agent Jorge has since labelled that speculation "false".

Farre hopes he can persuade the six-time Ballon d'Or winner to stay on, albeit on a reduced salary as Barca adjust to the crippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Messi and Neymar can play together at Barca next year. I am sure Messi does not want to leave," he said.

"I have talked to his people and, while we have not made any progress, he has told me he wants to stay. But he wants to be part of a winning project.

"My proposal to him is that he renews year after year, then we create a joint brand between Messi and Barca, and that he goes on to become the club's honorary president.

"But he will have to adapt to the current conditions of the club."

Messi scored in Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend to notch his 643rd goal for the Blaugrana, equalling Santos great Pele's one-club goals record.

Lionel Messi is determined to help Barcelona win trophies after admitting the saga surrounding his future has affected him this season.

The Argentine superstar appeared determined to leave Camp Nou in the previous transfer window, believing he was entitled to depart on a free transfer due to a clause in his contract.

However, Barca refused to sanction a move without a fee being involved, so Messi confirmed he would stay for the 2020-21 campaign, the final year on his current deal.

His long-term future still remains unclear, with more potentially becoming known when an in-depth interview with the 33-year-old is broadcast by LaSexta on December 27.

RAC1 released a short excerpt on Monday, in which Messi outlined his continued commitment to the cause for the coming months, ruling out any idea of a January transfer.

"The truth is that today I'm fine," Messi said in conversation with journalist and presenter Jordi Evole. 

"It's true that I had a very bad time in summer. What happened before the summer, because of how the season ended, the burofax and all that. Then I dragged it a bit at the beginning of the season.

"Today I'm fine and I feel like fighting seriously for everything we have ahead of us.

"I'm excited. I know the club is going through a difficult time, at club and team level, and it is difficult everything that surrounds Barcelona but I'm looking forward to it."

Messi was strongly linked with a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City earlier in the year, while more recent rumours have suggested Paris Saint-Germain could be his next destination. 

For now, though, he appears to be staying put.  

Barca have struggled for consistency so far this term under head coach Ronald Koeman, winning just six of their 13 league outings so far to sit outside the top four in the table. 

They have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, finishing behind Juventus in their group. The last-16 draw paired them with PSG, meaning a clash with former Barcelona team-mate Neymar. 

Messi has contributed nine goals in all competitions so far, taking his career tally for Barca to 643. In doing so, he tied Pele's record for most scored by a player for one club, equalling the legendary Brazilian's feat when finding the net for the 450th time in LaLiga against Valencia on Saturday. 

Real Madrid are still eyeing Kylian Mbappe next year.

Mbappe, 22, has been heavily linked with the LaLiga giants with his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expiring in 2022.

Madrid may be looking to make a move in 2021.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CONFIDENT OVER MBAPPE IN 2021

Real Madrid are very confident of completing a deal for PSG star Mbappe next year, according to 90min.

Mbappe has developed into one of the world's best forwards at PSG, where he has scored 13 goals in 17 games this season.

The France international is admired by Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona may be active in January. Sport reports Ronald Koeman is insisting on signings to begin 2021, with Lyon star Memphis Depay said to be available for just €5million. It also says Barca will negotiate with Manchester City for Eric Garcia.

- Staying at Manchester City and the Premier League giants have been boosted by John Stones' form. The Telegraph reports the defender is poised for a contract extension, with his current deal running until 2022.

- Yves Bissouma is seemingly attracting plenty of interest after his form for Brighton and Hove Albion. The Daily Express reports Manchester United have joined the race for the midfielder, who has also been linked to Liverpool and Arsenal.

- Yet to play for Napoli this season, Arkadiusz Milik is set for an exit. CalcioMercato reports Tottenham have given up on trying to sign the striker, who is also apparently a target for Juventus, Inter and Roma.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are confident over a move for Lionel Messi, while Mohamed Salah is eyeing Real Madrid.

Messi sensationally requested to leave Barcelona during the close season, but ended up staying with the LaLiga giants.

While the star made more history on Saturday, his contract expires at the end of the season – and two European giants think he is ready to make a move.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY, PSG CONFIDENT OVER MESSI

Manchester City and PSG are confident Messi is prepared to leave Barcelona in 2021, according to 90min.

The big-spending European giants have been among the most heavily linked with a move for Messi, who is out of contract at Barca next year.

Messi equalled Pele's record of 643 goals for one club with his header against Valencia in LaLiga on Saturday.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool star Salah discussed a potential move to Real Madrid or Barcelona in an interview with Diario AS on Saturday – and the forward apparently has a club in mind. DefensaCentral reports the Egypt international wants a move to Madrid, who have apparently maintained close contact.

- Barcelona could be set for good news in January. L'Equipe reports Lyon are prepared to sell Memphis Depay – who has been linked with the LaLiga giants and is out of contract at the end of the season – for €5million.

- Manchester City are prepared to listen to offers for Oleksandr Zinchenko in January, according to 90min. Zinchenko has played just 12 minutes in the Premier League this season.

- Struggling for game time this season, Daniel James has been linked with a move away from Manchester United. However, the Manchester Evening News reports James is committed to staying with the Premier League giants beyond January.

Pele congratulated Lionel Messi on equalling his one-club goals haul and said he admired the Barcelona star.

Messi scored his 643rd goal for Barca during Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Valencia in LaLiga.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner matched Pele's haul of 643 goals in just 656 matches for Santos between 1956 and 1974.

Pele, regarded by many as the best to ever play the game, posted a tribute to Messi on Instagram.

"When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path," the Brazil great wrote.

"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, @leomessi."

Having initially seen a penalty saved by Jaume Domenech, Messi got his milestone goal when he met a cross from the left and nodded home from point-blank range.

Messi's headed goal was his first for Barcelona in all competitions since March 2017, while he missed a spot-kick for the club for the first time since February last year.

Remarkably, his latest goal was also his 450th in LaLiga, making him the first player to reach that figure for a single club in any of Europe's top five leagues.

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