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.

Santos have revealed an unexpected gripe with Lionel Messi being acclaimed for beating Pele's single-team goals record - claiming the Brazil great's friendly feats have been overlooked.

Barcelona captain Messi scored his 644th competitive goal for Barcelona in the 3-0 win over Real Valladolid on December 22.

That took him past the total of 643 that Pele scored in official games for Santos, and three-time World Cup winner Pele has been quick to praise the Argentine forward.

Yet Santos appear to believe that Pele's 448 goals in friendlies should carry equal weight, and that therefore the true leader in goals for one team remains their greatest player.

An article on the Santos website, attributed to club historian Fernando Ribeiro, carries the headline, 'King Pele - 1,091 goals for Santos FC'.

The piece states: "In the last few days, much has been said in the press and on social media about the number of goals scored by Pele with the Santos shirt.

"According to some statisticians, Argentine Lionel Messi (Barcelona) became the player with the most goals for the same club, reaching 644 goals for the Catalan club, excluding friendly matches - called by some as official goals."

Ribeiro acknowledges Pele's note of congratulations to Messi, but adds: "Part of the press reports the historic feat, reneging on the greatest of all records, the total goals in the clubs.

"Pele scored 1,091 goals for Santos. In the accounts of the specialised press, the King of Football scored 643 in competitions and the 448 goals scored in friendly matches and competitions were ostracised, as if they had less value than the others.

"The 448 goals that today they try to disqualify were scored against the main clubs and teams of the day. America (Mexico) and Colo Colo (Chile) each suffered nine goals from Pele.

"Internazionale Milan, one of the main teams in Europe in the 1960s, suffered eight more goals from the King."

The historian points out a string of sides that Pele scored against in friendly games, adding: "Barcelona themselves, where Messi now plays, were also a victim of Pele: four goals, scored in four matches."

Pele's extraordinary four-figure goalscoring haul has been the subject of debate in the decades since he was an active player, with some arguing several of the opposition teams were lightweight.

The 80-year-old Pele posted a note on Twitter on Sunday that appeared to be a reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, where he wrote: "We are reaching the end of this great and tiring game. We will come out winners. And we will embrace at the end!"

Even such a warm, positive message did not mean Pele was spared a jibe from one social media critic, clearly a sceptic of his career record, who replied: "How many goals you scored against your nephew in the garden this weekend?"

It may reach a point where Lionel Messi is going to need an encyclopedia to record his ever-growing list of achievements.

The Barcelona great's latest benchmark came as a result of his goal in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

That strike was Messi's 644th in all competitions for Barcelona, the most scored by any player for a single team.

He surpassed the previous record held by Brazil legend Pele, who netted 643 for Santos and enjoyed his most prolific year in 1958 when he scored an astonishing 66 goals.

To commemorate such an impressive achievement, we took a look at some of Messi's most impressive numbers with the help of Opta data.


A CLASS OF HIS OWN

In a little over 16 years in Barca's first team, Messi has raced streets ahead of the competition to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer with a whopping 644 in total. Second on that list is Cesar Rodriguez with 232 goals.

Of Messi's haul, 451 goals have come in LaLiga, which means he also has the most in the history of Spain's top flight. Messi has 118 in the Champions League, 53 in the Copa del Rey, 14 in the Supercopa, three in the UEFA Super Cup and five in the Club World Cup.

His first Barcelona goal came against Albacete on May 1, 2005, with fellow superstar Ronaldinho setting him up.

The Argentina great enjoyed his most prolific campaign in the 2011-12 campaign, when he scored 73 goals across all competitions for Barcelona. There were an eye-watering 79 across the calendar year in 2012.

LOVE FOR PEP, TITO AND SEVILLA

It should come as little surprise that some of Messi's best returns in a Barca jersey came when playing in the golden era of Pep Guardiola.

In total, Messi had 211 goals and 79 assists in 219 games played under the now-Manchester City manager – an average of 0.96 goals per game.

He also excelled under Luis Enrique, winning the second of his career trebles. There were 153 goals, 66 assists and a goals-per-game ratio of 0.97 in that period.

But it was actually Tito Vilanova for whom Messi returned the best goals per game, a mind-boggling 1.2, having scored 60 in 50 appearances.

Many teams have conceded to Messi but none have picked the ball out of the net on more occasions against the Argentina great than Sevilla, who have done so 37 times.

Atletico Madrid are not far behind on 32, while Valencia have conceded 29 times to Messi and fierce rivals Real Madrid have done so on 26 occasions – making him the highest scorer in Clasico history.


LUCKLESS ALVES, SUAREZ AFFINITY AND GLORY AT THE BERNABEU

Not many goalkeepers can say they have got the better of Messi, and Diego Alves in particular has not enjoyed encounters against the mercurial forward.

Messi scored past the former Valencia stopper on 21 occasions, with Gorka Iraizoz next on the list - having shipped 18 to the Argentina captain. Iker Casillas and Andres Fernandez have been beaten 17 times.

At Barca, Messi has played alongside some of the best players of his, or indeed any, generation.

But no player has assisted Messi more than Luis Suarez, who has now left Barca for Atleti, with the Uruguay star setting up his former team-mate to score on 47 occasions.

Dani Alves ranks second on 42 assists for Messi, with Andres Iniesta and Xavi laying on 37 and 31 goals respectively.

Camp Nou is of course the venue where Messi has scored the majority of his goals, but the Santiago Bernabeu is next highest, with the 33-year-old having celebrated 15 strikes there.

The Riazor is where Messi has his best goals-per-game ratio at 1.625, scoring 13 times in eight games played at the home of Deportivo La Coruna.

Ronald Koeman believes Lionel Messi is happy at Barcelona after another record-breaking performance by the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Messi scored the third goal in a 3-0 LaLiga win over Real Valladolid on Tuesday – the superstar captain's 644th strike for Barca as he surpassed Pele for the all-time record amount of goals for a single club.

First-half goals from Clement Lenglet and Martin Braithwaite gave Barca a cushion at Estadio Jose Zorrilla before Messi overtook the record set by Pele during 18 years at Brazilian club Santos.

Although Messi expressed his desire to leave LaLiga giants Barca after 19 years during the off-season, Koeman believes his talisman is now happy.

"I've said it a lot," Barca head coach Koeman said. "I see Leo happy here.

"He's very important for us with his creativity.

"You can see that when there are good players alongside him."

Koeman switched to a three-man back line for the trip to Valladolid after Barca's defence were left exposed in the 2-2 draw against Valencia on Saturday.

Barca kept the hosts subdued until goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a double save in the 71st minute when the Catalans were holding a comfortable three-goal lead.

"We changed to improve the defence and the wings," Dutchman Koeman added.

"We've seen a very serious performance with good concentration and good chances created."

Pedri provided the delivery for Lenglet's opener and claimed his second assist with return pass to Messi, as Koeman reserved praise for both the 18-year-old and his midfield partner Miralem Pjanic.

"Pedri is a very good player when he plays in the middle," said Koeman. "Pjanic had to wait for his chance but he played a great game. He was good with the ball, but also defensively."

Fifth-placed Barca are eight points adrift of LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid, with Koeman's side scheduled to host struggling Eibar on December 29. 

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.

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.

Lionel Messi has equalled Pele's one-club goals haul after chalking up his 643rd for Barcelona against Valencia.

Brazil great Pele, regarded by many as the best to ever play the game, scored 643 times in just 656 matches for Santos between 1956 and 1974.

While Pele's overall goals record for his entire career is disputed, he did net 643 goals in official competition for Santos.

Some believed Pele's haul to be a world record in top-level football, though statisticians are unable to confirm this with absolute certainty.

Nevertheless, this is unlikely to detract from Messi's accomplishment, as he drew level with Pele's remarkable total after scoring with a header in first-half stoppage time on Saturday.

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.

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.

Messi has attracted criticism this term as his performances have not been at the level many might have expected them to be.

But his latest goal took him on to six from 13 LaLiga matches in the 2020-21 campaign.

The 33-year-old scored his first Barca goal on May 1, 2005 against Albacete in LaLiga when he was 17, at the time becoming the club's youngest ever goalscorer.

He has since gone on to become Barca's all-time leading scorer, as well as LaLiga's, and has won the Ballon d'Or a record six times.

But how much longer he will remain at Camp Nou remains a topic of much debate.

Messi attempted to force a transfer away from the Blaugrana in pre-season, adamant a get-out clause in his contract provided him with the opportunity to leave on a free transfer.

But then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu stood in his way, Messi ultimately backing down as he was unwilling to drag Barca through the courts.

Media speculation continues to link Messi with an end-of-season move to reunite with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with his Barca contract expiring in June.

Recently, Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as possible favourites to sign Messi, with Neymar having expressed a desire to play alongside his former Barca team-mate in 2021.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman insisted the LaLiga giants will never have a player like Lionel Messi as the superstar stands on the cusp of equalling Pele's record.

Messi is within one goal of matching Pele's one-club goals record ahead of Wednesday's showdown against leaders Real Sociedad.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has netted 642 goals for Barca across all competitions following his strike in last week's 1-0 victory over Levante.

On the looming record, Koeman told reporters of the 33-year-old attacker: "Well, [Messi's] stats are amazing. I don't think we'll ever have another player at this club who has given that much in terms of effectiveness.

"That's why he is the number one. He is a very important player, as we saw the other day [against Levante]. Our attack depends a lot on Leo.

"They are big stats… I don't know how many hat-tricks he has scored already. Once again, it is unbelievable what he has done for this club."

Messi has been involved in 14 goals in his 10 home LaLiga games against Sociedad (10 goals and four assists), including registering four goals and two assists in his past five such appearances against the club in the top flight.

Barca – eighth in the table and nine points off the pace – have won their past 22 LaLiga games on home soil against Sociedad.

Koeman's men could equal their longest ever winning run at home to Sociedad in the competition (23 between 1929 and 1961).

Cristiano Ronaldo said he was "honoured" to be included in France Football's All Time XI.

The French publication presented its all-time dream team on Monday, with Juventus superstar Ronaldo named alongside Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Pele and Diego Maradona – who died last month.

Brazil great Ronaldo, former Milan captain Paolo Maldini, Xavi, Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer, Lothar Matthaus, Cafu and goalkeeper Lev Yashin completed the XI.

Reacting to his inclusion, five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo tweeted: "I'm very honoured to be part of France Football's All Time 11."

"What an amazing Dream Team... They all deserve my respect and admiration and I'm obviously proud to be amongst such extraordinary players. Thank you!"

Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid's record goalscorer – has won five Champions League titles, three Premier League trophies, Euro 2016 glory, two Serie A crowns and as many LaLiga triumphs to go with numerous other silverware.

Ronaldo celebrated his 100th Juventus appearance with a brace in Sunday's 3-1 Serie A win over Genoa.

Not only was Ronaldo making his 100th Juve appearance, he also became the first player to reach 400 wins across Europe's top five leagues this century.

Additionally, Ronaldo – who has netted 77 times since joining Juve in 2018 – reached 31 goals for the calendar year, making him the third Bianconeri player to reach this milestone in the top flight, and the first since Omar Sivori in 1961.

Serie A holders Juve face Atalanta on Wednesday, with the 35-year-old Ronaldo looking to add to his 10 league goals this term.

Watching Diego Maradona play was "the best thing in the world" for Cafu, who has described the late Argentina great as a genius.

The sporting world mourned the death of a legendary figure after Maradona died on November 25 at the age of 60.

He won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994 - including leading his country to World Cup glory in 1986 - and will forever be an icon at Napoli, having won the Serie A title twice while in Italy.

Cafu may have represented Brazil - Argentina's rivals - but is full of admiration for Maradona, whom he says sits on the same level as Pele when it comes to discussing the greatest of all time.

"He was one of the best ever, without any doubt," Cafu told Stats Perform News courtesy of Nissan.  

"There are only two best ever: Dieguito, as I called him, and Pele.  

"Football lost the magic of touching the ball. Dieguito cared for the football like you care for a child. He really joked with the football and the sport. 

"For us, fans and players, to watch him play was unbelievable, the best thing in the world. I remember a set-piece he took inside the box [against Juventus], he just caressed the ball and laid it in the goal. 

"Now our world is mourning not because we lost a player, but because we lost a football genius."

Pele himself described Maradona as a "true legend" in a heartfelt Instagram post following the news of his friend's passing last month.

"Many people loved to compare us all their lives. You were a genius that enchanted the world. A magician with the ball at his feet. A true legend. But above all that, for me, you will always be a great friend, with an even bigger heart," Pele wrote to accompany a picture of the pair.

"Today, I know that the world would be much better if we could compare each other less and start admiring each other more. So, I want to say that you are incomparable."

Napoli, meanwhile, now play at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, the name of the ground having been changed in honour of their former player.

Pele believes the death of Diego Maradona should teach the world to "admire each other more" and spread a little more love.

The sporting world was shaken last week when Argentina great Maradona died at the age of 60 after suffering heart failure.

Former Brazil superstar Pele, who is now 80, intimated he was tired of being compared to Maradona, with the South American pair having been widely regarded for many years as the greatest players of all time.

The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have entered that conversation in recent times, but Pele says looking for winners during such debates can stifle appreciation levels.

In a new tribute to Maradona, Pele wrote: "Many people loved to compare us all their lives. You were a genius that enchanted the world. A magician with the ball at his feet. A true legend. But above all that, for me, you will always be a great friend, with an even bigger heart.

"Today, I know that the world would be much better if we could compare each other less and start admiring each other more. So, I want to say that you are incomparable."

The mercurial Maradona won 91 caps for his country between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

Pele was sorry he did not have a chance to say goodbye to Maradona in person, but he said the 1986 World Cup winner had managed to be influential, even in death.

In his message, posted to Instagram, Pele added: "Your trajectory was marked by honesty. And in your unique and particular way, you taught us that we have to love and say 'I love you' a lot more often. Your quick departure didn't let me say it to you, so I will just write: I love you, Diego."

He illustrated their friendship with a series of photographs, dating back decades, beginning with an early encounter when a young Maradona watches Pele play guitar.

"My great friend, thank you very much for our entire journey," Pele wrote. "One day, in heaven, we will play together on the same team. And it will be the first time that I raise my fist in the air in triumph on the pitch without celebrating a goal. It will be because I can finally embrace you again."

Pele hopes he will one day "play ball together in the sky" with "great friend" Diego Maradona after the Argentina legend died at the age of 60.

Maradona's passing was confirmed by the Argentine Football Association (AFA), with tributes soon flooding in for a much-loved sporting figure.

The Argentina and Napoli great had undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

But on Wednesday, two weeks after being discharged, the AFA announced Maradona had died, with Brazil icon Pele quickly taking to Twitter to show his respect for man who is widely regarded as the greatest rival to his own claim as the best of all time.

"What sad news," Pele wrote. "I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend.

"There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members.

"One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky."

No cause of death was stated, but it has been reported he suffered a heart attack.

Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

The mercurial Maradona won 91 caps for his country between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Gianluigi Buffon has urged Cristiano Ronaldo to match Pele for career goals after the Portugal star drew level on the all-time list with Ferenc Puskas.

Ronaldo came off the bench to score in Wednesday's 7-0 friendly thrashing of Andorra in Lisbon, reaching 102 at international level, just seven short of the world record held by Iran's Ali Daei.

That goal took the Juventus star to 746 for club and country in his storied career, a tally that is said to equal that of Real Madrid and Hungary legend Puskas.

While there is conjecture around the precise number of goals scored by some of the game's greatest players in the previous century, it is widely claimed that Ronaldo is now behind only Pele (767 goals), Romario (772) and Slavia Prague great Josef Bican (805) on the all-time list.

Juve veteran Buffon now wants his team-mate to haul in Pele and move into history's top three.

"Grande CR7issimo!!!" he wrote on Twitter on Thursday. "Congrats for this great achievement my friend, 746 goals are an huuuge amount! You reached Puskas, now you have to get Pele!"

Ronaldo, 35, has six goals in four Serie A games this season, having missed four matches in all competitions due to coronavirus. He scored 31 in Italy's top flight in 2019-20.

He will likely have a chance to add to his career tally on Saturday, when Portugal host France in their penultimate Nations League Group A3 encounter.

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