Brazilian club Santos FC published an explanation of Pele’s goalscoring record to argue with that of Leo Messi’s 644 strikes.
Santos has issued a statement of argument against Lionel Messi’s record for scoring the most goals for Barcelona. On Tuesday, the Argentine broke Pele’s world record for goals scored for a single club against Valladolid.
He surpassed the Brazilian legend’s 633 goals which he marked for his native club Santos FC. However, Santos claims that the goals scored by their icon in friendlies and exhibition matches are to be included. And that the correct stat stands at 1091 goals.
Is this a valid debate?
The club wrote in a long statement on their official website: “The 448 goals which they are trying to omit today were scored against the top clubs from those seasons. Pele scored nine goals against each of Club America (Mexico) and Colo Colo (Chile). He also put eight past Inter Milan, one of the best European clubs in 1960.”
“The list is immense and with big clubs: River Plate, Boca Juniors, Racing, Universidad de Chile, Real Madrid, Juventus, Lazio, Napoli, Benfica, and Anderlecht. Barcelona themselves, where Messi plays, were also one of Pele’s victims: four goals, scored in four games.”
“The argument of some analysts is that many of these 448 goals scored in friendly matches were against weak opponents, like small teams or regional teams. Even so, the matches were played in official uniform with the official laws of the game and officially logged.”
“We must remember that clubs could only play friendlies with the approval of the regional and national federations. That is one of the rules imposed by FIFA, the organiser of world football.”
“Taking into account subjective attributes, like the strength of opponents, is not ideal for compiling statistical data. The numbers are absolute. A goal against Eibar is statistically the same as one scored versus Valencia. A goal against Transvaal (of Surinam) is worth the same as one scored against Real Madrid, in the middle of the Santiago Bernabeu.”