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Lionel Messi equals Pelé’s 643 club goals, Barça held by Valencia

Lionel Messi has another individual scoring milestone, but he sure doesn’t have a team that looks like a champion.

Messi equaled Pelé’s all-time club scoring tally on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Valencia. His 643rd career goal for Barcelona since his 2004 debut matched Pelé’s tally for Santos from 1957-74.

The Argentine's penalty was initially saved, but he equalised for the hosts on the stroke of half-time, scrambling in a header after Jordi Alba had seen his shot from the rebound blocked.

The Brazilian icon spent nearly two decades, the best part of his career, in Vila Belmiro.

And Pele, now 80, paid a touching tribute to Messi after he matched his tally. The World Cup winner wrote on Instagram:

"When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path. 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 in @fcbarcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately will be increasingly rare in football. I admire you very much,@leomessi."

It's a beautiful message from Pele, but we're not sure how much the six-time Ballon d'Or winner 'loves' wearing the Barcelona shirt right now.

The question, of course, is how much longer the Barcelona superstar will be a one-club man.

Speculation is ramping up that the forward will leave Catalonia when his contract expires in the summer. It was only the threat of a protracted legal saga that kept him there at the end of last season.

Ronald Koeman's side are now fifth in La Liga, eight points off the top of the table.