Messi overtakes Pele: The 23 greatest goal scorers in football history

Lionel Messi’s first season at Paris Saint-Germain wasn’t really much to write home about.

Sure, the little Argentine helped the team win the Ligue 1 title, but there’s no denying he was way below his very best for much of the 2021/22 campaign.

Niggling injuries and a serious bout of Covid-19 didn’t exactly help Messi‘s cause during the season.

However, while we certainly didn’t see the 34-year-old at the peak of his powers in Paris, he did still manage to record some pretty impressive numbers.

In 26 Ligue 1 appearances, Messi bagged 15 assists, with only PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe accruing a higher total.

And Messi was still able to find the back of the net 11 times across all competitions, including five in just seven Champions League outings.

Those goals have now seen him overtake Pele to become the second-greatest goalscorer in football history, according to IFFHS.

Lionel Messi with Paris Saint-Germain

The 23 greatest goal scorers in football history

23. Franz Binder (Austria/Germany) – 502 goals

22. Imre Schlosser (Hungary) – 504 goals

21. Hugo Sanchez (Mexico) – 507 goals

20. Roberto Dinamite (Brazil) – 511 goals

19. Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – 520 goals

18. Gyorgy Sarosi (Hungary) – 526 goals

17. Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina/Spain) – 530 goals

16. Uwe Seeler (Germany) – 551 goals

15. Jimmy McGrory (Scotland) – 552 goals

14. Fernando Peyroteo (Portugal) – 553 goals

13. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) – 560 goals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates a goal for AC Milan

12. Glenn Ferguson (Northern Ireland) – 561 goals

11. Robert Lewandowski (Poland) – 563 goals

10. Joe Bambrick (Northern Ireland) – 616 goals

9. Eusebio (Portugal) – 619 goals

8. Gerd Muller (Germany) – 634 goals

7. Jimmy Jones (Northern Ireland) – 647 goals

6. Josef Bican (Austria/Czechoslovakia) – 720 goals

5. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary) – 729 goals

4. Romario (Brazil) – 755 goals

3. Pele (Brazil) – 762 goals

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 764 goals

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 813 goals
Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo

Well played, Leo.

Messi will now look to emulate eternal rival Ronaldo and become just the second man in history to score 800 goals for club and country at professional level.

If the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner rediscovers the form he showed in a Barcelona shirt next season at PSG, he could be sitting on a number higher than 800 in 12 months time.

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