Lionel Messi reached one of the most significant landmarks of his career on Tuesday night during Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Real Valladolid.
The revered Argentine surpassed Pele’s long-standing record of goals for a single club – achieved across 19 seasons with Brazilian outfit Santos – by notching his 644th strike for Barcelona.
Pedri’s delicate backheel provided him with the assist for his record-breaking strike to round off a free flowing move from the Catalans.
Serial record breaker Messi is no stranger to monumental feats, but this was a particularly special and significant moment in the context of his career.
To amass such a gargantuan number of goals while playing for one side in a division of La Liga’s standard is something that is unlikely to be repeated and serves to underline his status as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of all time.
Naturally, his new record prompted plenty of reaction from some of football’s most esteemed figures.
Gary Lineker has never shied away from his admiration for Messi and the BBC Sport pundit was right on cue to offer a perspective on the scale of the 33-year-old’s groundbreaking achievement.
In order to demonstrate just how unlikely it is that Messi’s goal scoring prowess will ever be repeated, Lineker stated that any contender would need to score 43 goals per season over 15 seasons to eclipse the new record.
Scoring 43 goals in one season is an achievement that would see most players immortalised in club folklore, even at Sunday league level.
That Messi has managed to notch with that regularity 15 times over really does leave us wondering whether he is from another galaxy after all.
The scary thing is that Barca’s talisman has until the end of the season to add to that record, though his future remains something of an intriguing unknown as his contract ticks towards expiry.
Now that he has broken seemingly every available record under the sun, it seems like an apt opportunity for him to move onto pastures new.
It’s not what the Blaugrana faithful will be hoping for, but it’s what the majority of neutrals would love to see in 2021.