Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said La Albiceleste are preparing for the Copa America to go ahead amid uncertainty, though he still has concerns.

The Copa America is scheduled to get underway in Brazil on Sunday after CONMEBOL controversially removed Argentina and Colombia as co-hosts due to respective political and coronavirus issues.

Brazil were awarded hosting duties, despite being one of the country's worst hit by the COVID-19 health crisis, and Scaloni has already voiced his disapproval of CONMEBOL's decision.

Tite's Brazil are reluctant to host the showpiece South American tournament, with the squad set to shed more light following Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay.

Argentina are also gearing up for a World Cup qualifier away to Colombia before their scheduled Copa America opener against Chile on Monday.

"We know what everyone knows, for now it is being played and we are aware of that," Scaloni told reporters, with Argentina out to maintain their unbeaten record in qualifying on the road to Qatar 2022.

"Now we are focused on the game with Colombia and after this we will surely focus on what is coming."

"We wanted to base ourselves in our training camp, they authorised it and for us it is a great peace of mind," added Scaloni.

"I don't know what will happen after the playoff games are over, but it is very important for us to stay at home.

"What will happen from tomorrow I don't know, we are calm. But the worrying aspect is still there."

Lionel Messi was on target as Argentina drew 1-1 with Chile in Thursday's World Cup qualifying fixture.

Messi – who also struck the woodwork on more than one occasion – converted a first-half penalty before Alexis Sanchez restored parity for Chile.

On Messi, Scaloni said: "Messi's always marked by two or three people. We are planning on doing something which we have not been doing in the last games. Hopefully we can do it.

"We will have to see what Colombia does. They are the hosts, they just won in a convincing fashion and we will see if they have the same team. Messi being marked is something that we assume."

Interim Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Antonio Carlos Nunes said head coach Tite will not be sacked amid uncertainty over the Copa America.

The 2021 Copa America is scheduled to take place in Brazil, starting on Sunday, following CONMEBOL's decision to relocate the event from Argentina and Colombia, though it remains to be seen whether the Selecao will take part.

Tite has said Brazil will state their intentions following Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, while captain Casemiro suggested the entire squad are united against hosting the Copa America amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been some calls for Tite to be replaced due to the uncertainty but Nunes – who has taken charge of the CBF after the governing body's ethics committee suspended Rogerio Caboclo for 30 days – does not plan to make changes.

"I say it like this: aren't we winning? We won Copa America in 2019," Nunes told O Liberal. "And now we are almost qualified for the World Cup.

"… As the saying goes, you don't change a team that is winning.

"I am a friend of Tite's. I couldn't speak with Tite on Sunday. I wanted to tell him the decisions are with me now. I like his work very much, he is serious."

Nunes also endorsed the Copa America being staged in Brazil, adding: "Our first objective is to qualify for the World Cup. Brazil has never been out of a World Cup. 

"Regarding Copa America, neither Colombia nor Argentina wanted to do it because of the pandemic. CONMEBOL sought out the Brazil president [Jair Bolsonaro] and he readily accepted. 

"It has the approval of the president of the republic. I had to talk to the president of the republic. This referral is right. There are things to be resolved."

Amid the ongoing speculation and controversy surrounding Brazilian football, Tite – whose team boast a perfect record after five matches in World Cup qualifying – told reporters on Monday: "My judgment, my scale of values, my ethical side and my education say that I do not heed the rumours that are said.

"I have a lot of respect for my work and the Brazilian national team and I also have a lot of respect for these qualifiers for the World Cup, and the best way to repay all that trust to the people who are in my favour and those who are against me, it is to make the selection play well and be able to win.

"This is my attribution and my place and that is what I am going to do."

"The work we do to achieve good results is very difficult, so what for some may be priority or important things, for us at this time does not have that priority," Tite continued.

"Casemiro said the things he had to say regarding the whole situation that leads to the Copa America. When the FIFA and qualifying dates are over, we will very calmly clarify the whole situation, but for now respect our time and our work."

Tite gave no guarantees over his future after Brazil beat Ecuador 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Brazil was this week confirmed by CONMEBOL as the new host nation for the upcoming Copa America, which was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament was due to be staged in Colombia and Argentina, but was moved due to mounting political unrest in the former country and a surge in COVID-19 cases in the latter.

Yet there is uncertainty over whether Brazil will compete in the competition due to their displeasure over the relocation of the event.

Captain Casemiro suggested the entire Selecao squad are united against hosting the Copa America, which starts on June 13, with Brazil so hard hit by coronavirus.

There has been talk that Tite could resign before the tournament, but the coach gave little away after the victory over Ecuador, with another World Cup qualifier against Paraguay to come on Tuesday.

Tite said in a media conference: "I am doing my job normally. I always do. I am at peace with myself.

"My adversities are very little in comparison with other people."

Asked if he could quit next week, Tite replied: "You can raise any hypothesis, I only ask you to be careful. I will express it when it matters. Not now. This was a tough match against Ecuador."

Casemiro earlier told TV Globo: "We are not going to talk about this [the stance on Brazil staging the Copa America], Tite already told how the opinion is.

"As the captain and leader, we already have our position. We want to talk but now is not the moment to do it.

"I'm not the only one, it's not only the European players [against hosting], we are all. When someone speaks, everybody does it, or Tite, or coaching staff. We have to be unified."

Richarlison opened the scoring and Neymar added a stoppage-time penalty as Brazil took another step towards securing their spot in next year's World Cup in Qatar, making it five wins out of five at the expense of Ecuador.

Brazil captain Casemiro suggested the entire Selecao squad are united against hosting the upcoming Copa America.

The 2021 Copa America is scheduled to take place in Brazil, starting June 13, following CONMEBOL's decision to relocate the event.

Postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Copa America had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina, though both countries were removed as co-hosts following respective political and COVID-19 issues.

Brazil have been awarded hosting rights in pursuit of back-to-back titles, despite being one of the country's worst hit by the COVID-19 health crisis.

Prior to Friday's 2-0 win over Ecuador in World Cup qualifying, Brazil head coach Tite could not guarantee the participation of his side at the showpiece event on home soil, promising to shed more light on the situation following Tuesday's fixture against Paraguay.

After Brazil preserved their perfect record in qualifying following five wins from five games, Casmeiro was asked about the team's reported stance.

"We cannot talk about the Copa America, even if everyone knows what our opinion is," Casemiro told TV Globo post-game. "But we can't talk about it, everyone knows that we think.

"It is very clear what we think about the Copa America, but now we have to respect certain hierarchies. It is clear that we want to express ourselves about it, but unfortunately now we cannot."

Casemiro, whose Brazil are due to face Paraguay before their scheduled Copa America opener against Venezuela on June 13, added: "We are not going to talk about this, Tite already told how the opinion is.

"As the captain and leader, we already have our position. We want to talk but now is not the moment to do it.

"I'm not the only one, it's not only the European players [against hosting], we are all. When someone speaks, everybody does it, or Tite, or coaching staff. We have to be unified."

Neymar and Richarlison were both on target in the second half as Brazil stayed perfect on the road to Qatar 2022.

Brazil – in Group B for the Copa America, alongside Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela – have won their opening five games in a World Cup qualifying campaign since 1970.

Brazil preserved their perfect record in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying after Richarlison and Neymar's second-half strikes broke Ecuador's stubborn resistance in a 2-0 victory.

Richarlison and Neymar combined for the decisive 65th-minute goal as Brazil made it five wins from five matches on the road to Qatar 2022 in Porto Alegre on Friday.

With all eyes on the upcoming Copa America, due to start in Brazil on June 13 amid reports some of the Selecao players do not want to compete, Richarlison broke the deadlock with a powerful strike behind closed doors.

Neymar sealed the win with a re-taken penalty in the 94th minute to send Tite's men four points clear atop the qualifying standings.

It was a clash between the two top-scoring teams in World Cup qualifying, Ecuador having scored 13 goals through four rounds, while Brazil had found the back of the net on 12 occasions.

But chances were few and far between, especially in the first half, with Ecuador looking comfortable away from home amid Brazil's subdued play.

Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa – who had forced goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez into a routine save earlier in the half – did put the ball in the back of the net for Brazil three minutes before half-time but it was ruled out for offside.

While Brazil – playing for the first time since November's 2-0 win in Uruguay – were largely toothless in the opening 45 minutes, they did not face a shot on target for the third occasion in their five qualifying games.

Neymar, the subject of a scary incident prior to kick-off as two overexcited fans charged at the Paris Saint-Germain star and attempted to steal his shoes, continued to be in the thick of the action with a couple of strikes.

He was the architect for the opening goal just past the hour mark, playing in Richarlison, whose shot proved too hot to handle for Dominguez at the front post.

That goal brought Brazil to life as Gabigol had two good chances to double the lead for the Selecao.

With 18 minutes remaining, Gabigol got on the end of Gabriel Jesus' reverse pass but Dominguez was quick off his line to thwart the Flamengo star.

Gabigol was unable to divert his header on target three minutes later after Richarlison did superbly well to keep the ball in play.

Brazil were awarded a penalty following a VAR review at the death and while Neymar's initial penalty was saved by Dominguez in the first minute of stoppage time, an encroachment spared the star's blushes as he made no mistake a second time around.

Brazil head coach Tite cannot guarantee the participation of the Copa America champions this month as some players oppose the showpiece tournament on home soil.

The 2021 Copa America is scheduled to take place in Brazil, starting June 13, following CONMEBOL's decision to relocate the event.

Postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Copa America had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina, though both countries were removed as co-hosts following respective political and COVID-19 issues.

Brazil have been awarded hosting rights in pursuit of back-to-back titles, despite being one of the country's worst hit by the COVID-19 health crisis.

However, it remains to be seen whether Tite's Brazil will compete due to their displeasure over the relocation of the Copa America.

Amid ongoing talks as Brazil prepare for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador, Tite told reporters: "We have a very clear opinion [about the Copa America], after seeing the entire chronological sequence of events, Juninho and I spoke with the president and told him our opinion.

"We asked the players to work focused solely on preparing for the game against Ecuador, they accepted this request and asked us for a conversation with the president to tell him what their opinion is, because all the players are very clear about what they want.

"They spoke directly with the president and the coaching staff, from there their position is very clear. We want to tell the fans what they think, but not now so that we can prioritize playing well and winning the game against Ecuador.

"This is our goal and at the end of these FIFA matches, we will tell everyone to clarify our thoughts. You have my commitment that at the end of these games we will tell publicly what the position is."

Brazil are in Group B for the Copa America, alongside Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela.

The Selecao are due to open their campaign against Venezuela on June 13.

Tite, whose Brazil are unbeaten and atop the World Cup qualifying standinds, added: "All this has a negative effect in the face of the game with Ecuador, but we have to have the greatness to overcome this moment and be able to play well and win the game.

"Adversities happen and this hurt us, but it is up to all of us as a team to be able to filter all that and play a great game and achieve the result that people deserve."

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni disapproved of CONMEBOL's decision to move the Copa America to Brazil, describing the situation as "alarming" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's Copa America – postponed from 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic – had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina, though both countries were removed as co-hosts following respective political and coronavirus issues.

CONMEBOL confirmed the 2021 tournament will go ahead as planned, with Brazil taking over hosting duties in pursuit of back-to-back titles, despite being one of the country's worst hit by the COVID-19 health crisis.

As Argentina prepare to open the showpiece event in the scheduled curtain-raiser against Chile on June 13, Scaloni questioned the governing body's decision to strip Argentina of hosting rights.

"Some time ago people had been talking about the problems we have as a country to host the Copa America and the effort that the Government and the AFA were making to try to play it in Argentina," Scaloni told reporters ahead of Thursday's World Cup qualifier against Chile.

"Colombia had already gone down and in the end it was decided that it should not be done here for a health issue, but now it turns out that we will have to travel to Brazil and with that everything is said.

"Surely Brazil is the same or worse than us and from that place it was a difficult decision to assimilate, but this does not mean that we will have to go play and try to do our best.

"There are still many unknowns, accommodation, where we will train, our perspective changed a lot because before we were going to be on our camp, with all precautions, and now we are faced with this situation that is still alarming and worrying because it is not the ideal place."

Scaloni – who announced his starting XI for the qualifier against Chile, which is headlined by superstar captain Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria – added: "The issue of the virus and the pandemic is not something new, we are already immersed in this and it really is very difficult to carry it forward with training and day to day, but all the national teams are in the same conditions.

"You have to live with this in the most responsible way. It has never happened that two qualifying games are played and then the Copa America, before we had preparation games, but now it is all atypical and we have to face it in the best way and in due time."

Barcelona have exercised their option to bring Emerson back to the club following two seasons at Real Betis.

Emerson was party to a three-way deal in January 2019, which saw Betis and Barca each pay half of the €12million fee that was sent to Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro.

At the time it was reported that right-back Emerson would stay with Betis for two-and-a-half years with the view to aiding his adaptation to Spanish football.

It was also claimed upon the completion of the complicated deal that Barca would have to reimburse Betis their initial outlay of €6m plus an additional amount in relation to his value at the time, while the Verdiblancos will be owed a percentage of any future sale.

Barca are said to be paying Betis €9m for the right to finally bring Emerson to Camp Nou, though the deal seemingly represents something of a coup given his performances in LaLiga.

Emerson – who is in the Brazil squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers ahead of the Copa America – has proved to be both a dependable defender and a capable attacking outlet.

His 10 assists over the past two seasons is bettered by only one LaLiga defender (Jesus Navas, 13), while his 62 key passes is the fifth-highest among full-backs.

He has played 170 open-play crosses in that time, a haul bettered by only 10 other right-backs and left-backs, highlighting how he can be expected to offer significant support in attack on the flank.

His forward-thinking nature has not impacted negatively only his defensive output.

Emerson's 853 duels over the past two years is nearly 200 more than any other defender, while his 492 duel wins is also a LaLiga high for players in the backline.

It is a similar story for tackle attempts (165) and tackles won (98), while he also has an impressive tally of 92 interceptions.

This paints a picture of an all-action defender who will work tirelessly up and down the right flank, potentially making him effective competition for Sergino Dest.

Emerson is Barca's third new signing following the acquisitions of Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia from Manchester City.

Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to join the influx, with his Liverpool contract set to expire.

CONMEBOL has confirmed the 2021 Copa America will go ahead as planned, with Brazil taking over hosting duties.

This year's edition of the tournament – postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina.

However, Colombia lost co-hosting status amid mounting political unrest in the country, while the event then needed to find a new location after a surge in coronavirus cases ruled out playing games in Argentina.

CONMEBOL met on Monday to determine the future of the competition, electing to move the tournament to Brazil, who were crowned champions on home soil in 2019.

A post from the governing body's official Twitter account read: "The CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 will be played in Brazil!

"Tournament start and end dates are confirmed. The venues and the fixture will be informed by CONMEBOL in the next few hours. The oldest national team tournament in the world will make the whole continent vibrate!"

The tournament will run from June 13 to July 10, though further details over locations and the exact schedule are to be released in the near future.

However, the decision to move the Copa to Brazil does not come without controversy.

The nation has been one of the worst hit by the COVID-19 health crisis with nearly 460,000 deaths, according to figures from the World Health Organisation.

CONMEBOL's decision also comes in the aftermath of protesters in cities across the country calling for Jair Bolsonaro's impeachment, with Brazil's president having previously played down the severity of the virus and also questioned the importance of vaccinations.

"The best soccer in the world will bring joy and passion to millions of South Americans," CONMEBOL added in a further tweet.

"CONMEBOL thanks the president Jair Bolsonaro and his team, as well as the Brazilian Football Confederation for opening the doors of that country to what is today the safest sporting event in the world.

"South America will shine in Brazil with all its stars!"

CONMEBOL has confirmed the 2021 Copa America will go ahead as planned, with Brazil taking over hosting duties.

This year's edition of the tournament – postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina.

However, Colombia lost co-hosting status amid mounting political unrest in the country, while the event then needed to find a new location after a surge in coronavirus cases ruled out playing games in Argentina.

CONMEBOL met on Monday to determine the future of the competition, electing to move the tournament to Brazil, who were crowned champions on home soil in 2019.

A post from the governing body's official Twitter account read: "The CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 will be played in Brazil!

"Tournament start and end dates are confirmed. The venues and the fixture will be informed by CONMEBOL in the next few hours. The oldest national team tournament in the world will make the whole continent vibrate!"

The tournament will run from June 13 to July 10, though further details over locations and the exact schedule are to be released in the near future.

However, the decision to move the Copa to Brazil does not come without controversy.

The nation has been one of the worst hit by the COVID-19 health crisis with nearly 460,000 deaths, according to figures from the World Health Organisation.

CONMEBOL's decision also comes in the aftermath of protesters in cities across the country calling for Jair Bolsonaro's impeachment, with Brazil's president having previously played down the severity of the virus and also questioned the importance of vaccinations.

"The best soccer in the world will bring joy and passion to millions of South Americans," CONMEBOL added in a further tweet.

"CONMEBOL thanks the president Jair Bolsonaro and his team, as well as the Brazilian Football Confederation for opening the doors of that country to what is today the safest sporting event in the world.

"South America will shine in Brazil with all its stars!"

CONMEBOL has confirmed the 2021 Copa America will go ahead as planned, with Brazil taking over hosting duties.

This year's edition of the tournament – postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – had been due to be shared between Colombia and Argentina.

However, Colombia lost co-hosting status amid mounting political unrest in the country, while the event then needed to find a new location after a surge in coronavirus cases ruled out playing games in Argentina.

CONMEBOL met on Monday to determine the future of the competition, electing to move the tournament to Brazil, who were crowned champions on home soil in 2019.

A post from the governing body's official Twitter account read: "The CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 will be played in Brazil!

"Tournament start and end dates are confirmed. The venues and the fixture will be informed by CONMEBOL in the next few hours. The oldest national team tournament in the world will make the whole continent vibrate!"

The tournament will run from June 13 to July 10.

Manchester United midfielder Fred has been called up to the Brazil squad for the first time since 2018 for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Ecuador and Paraguay.

The most recent of Fred's 11 senior international caps came in a 2-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia two and a half years ago.

He has featured regularly for club side United once again this season, however, and has been included in Brazil's 24-man squad for their next set of Qatar 2022 qualifying fixtures.

Fred wrote on Twitter: "A great joy to represent my country again. Always proud to be called up. Let's go again!"

The 28-year-old was criticised by a number of pundits for his performance in Thursday's 4-2 Premier League defeat to Liverpool, but United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has regularly stood by the midfielder.

Fred has attempted 3.08 tackles per 90 minutes in the Premier League this term, the sixth highest average among all players to have played at least 20 times.

His 59.04 successful passes per 90 minutes, meanwhile, is behind only Nemanja Matic (76.56) in terms of United players to have played eight or more league games in 2020-21.

The ex-Shakhtar Donetsk player's passing has also improved during his time at Old Trafford, with Paul Pogba (9.47) the only United regular averaging more passes into the final third than Fred's 9.41 per game.

Asked at a news conference on Friday about his decision to recall Fred, Brazil head coach Tite said: "He has been included because of his high-level performances at United, the team that is second in the Premier League."

Fred is joined in the squad by veteran full-back Dani Alves, who last featured for Brazil in October 2019, while Lucas Paqueta, Gabriel Barbosa and Everton Ribeiro are also included.

The Selecao were last in action six months ago when seeing off Uruguay 2-0 to make it four wins from four in their CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group.

The fifth and sixth rounds of fixtures were scheduled to take place in March, but all the games were called off due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Brazil are gearing up for a busy period as the Copa America - originally due to be held last year - takes place between June 13 and July 10.

Tite will name his squad for the tournament on June 9 and is hoping to continue building momentum over the next couple of games.

"We have a very high expectation," Tite said. "It is a difficult moment for everyone. These games give us a chance to be in contact with the players.

"We will look at continuing with our performances and results. Right now it is only possible to think about these two games and nothing else."


Brazil squad: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Verissimo (Benfica), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea); Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (Lyon); Everton (Benfica), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Barbosa (Flamengo), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

Reigning champions Brazil and 2016 finalists Germany have been drawn together in the group stages for the men's football tournament at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Brazil secured the gold medal on home soil in Rio five years ago when defeating Germany via a penalty shoot-out, Neymar with the clinching spot-kick for following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

The two nations are together again in Group D, along with Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia, and are in the same half of the draw as Argentina and Spain, who are both in Group C.

Hosts Japan are joined in Group A by France, Mexico – who claimed the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – and South Africa.

Les Bleus will be involved in the opening match when they take on Mexico on July 22 at Tokyo Stadium, followed by Japan taking on South Africa at the same venue later that day.

In the women's event, the United States – winners of the 2019 World Cup - are paired with Sweden, who lost the 2016 final to Germany. Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand complete the line-up for Group G.

Japan will take on Canada, Great Britain and Chile in Group E, while the other pool contains China, Brazil, the Netherlands and Zambia.


Men's draw in full:

Group A: Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France.

Group B: New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania.

Group C: Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia.

Group D: Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

Women's draw in full:

Group E: Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile.

Group F: China, Brazil, Zambia, the Netherlands.

Group G: Sweden, United States, Australia, New Zealand.

Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar has denied he is planning to throw a party to celebrate his birthday next month.

Brazilian newspaper Extra claimed Neymar is preparing to host an event in Paris for his 29th birthday on February 5 with guests flying in from Brazil.

Mass gatherings are banned in France under coronavirus restrictions and any such party would likely be in breach of them.

Neymar described the story as "wrong gossip" in a message posted on Twitter on Saturday and added: "There will be no party!"

It is not the first time Neymar's famed party reputation has come under scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former Barcelona man denied he was hosting a New Year's Eve bash for 150 guests at his private condominium in Mangaratiba, down the coast from Rio de Janeiro.

Pele has denied changing his Instagram bio after Cristiano Ronaldo overtook his haul of 757 goals in official competitions.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo moved on to 758 career goals with a double in Juventus' 4-1 victory over Udinese on Saturday.

It came just two weeks after Brazil great Pele, a three-time World Cup winner, saw his record for the most goals with a single club - 643 at Santos - surpassed by Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.

Following Ronaldo's goals against Udinese, Pele was accused of updating his Instagram bio to include "Leading Goal Scorer of All Time (1,283)", a total that remains the subject of much debate.

However, the 80-year-old has refuted the allegation, insisting he is not trying to detract from the achievements of Ronaldo and Messi.

"I was accused by the press of having changed my Instagram bio to overshadow these big stars that are breaking my records," Pele posted on Twitter.

"The bio text has always been the same since I joined the platform. None of this should distract us from their incredible achievements."

Only Czech striker Josef Bican, who is credited with scoring 805 goals, lies ahead of Ronaldo in the all-time goalscoring list.

After Messi scored his 644th goal for Barcelona, Santos published an article on their official website – attributed to club historian Fernando Ribeiro – with the headline, 'King Pele – 1,091 goals for Santos FC'.

Ribeiro claimed that Pele's official haul for Santos was 1,091 when friendlies against some of the world's best teams, including Barca and Inter, were included.

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