Budweiser have cheekily handed out beers to all the goalkeepers Lionel Messi has scored against throughout his glittering career.
Barcelona’s iconic striker broke Pele’s record of 643 goals for a single club with a strike against Real Valladolid on Wednesday to take him to 644.
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And Budweiser marked the occasion by gifting bottles to the goalies who had failed to keep Messi at bay. Among those who received a special selection were Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon.
Chelsea’s world-record £71 million stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga also received some bottles, looking pleased with himself as he posed for photos. Messi’s 644th goal came in a much-needed 3-0 victory over lowly Valladolid.
With his side already leading 2-0, thanks to first-half efforts from Clement Lenglet and Martin Braithwaite, Messi received a smart backheel from Pedri in the 65th minute.
The 33-year-old took it perfectly into his stride, before slotting an unstoppable left-footed effort beyond the helpless goalkeeper. Messi achieved the feat in his 749th outing for the Blaugrana.
Pele, however, may privately refute the achievement – having claimed to have scored 1,283 goals during his illustrious career.
But the official records show that only 643 came in ‘official’ matches – although it took just 656 of them for Santos to reach the tally.
On Saturday, when his record was equalled, the Brazilian, 80, posted a heartwarming congratulations to Messi.
“When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path,” he 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.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.