Earlier this week, Lionel Messi scored his 644th career goal for Barcelona, defeating Valladolid 3-0, thus breaking Pelé’s record of almost 50 years of more goals scored by a single club. Although the records from the last round may be irregular, Pelé officially said that he had hit 643 times in 656 games for Santos. It took 749 Messi games. Slacker.
In any case, Messi’s status as one of the best who have ever played the game is not in doubt, but the coolest way to celebrate his achievement is thanks to a publicity stunt by Budweiser, of all companies.
The (almost) American brewer, who calls himself “Rei das Cervejas” and everything else, decided to honor the King of Football by sending the goalkeeper who suffered an individualized bottle of Bud for each of the goals scored objective. There are 644 bottles of beer, for 644 goals, for 160 different goalkeepers.
Some, especially those with long careers at La Liga, have had quite a considerable handover. Iker Casillas managed 17 bottles. Jan Oblak was short of two for a pack of 12. Former Valencia and Almería goalkeeper Diego Alves had more than twice that, with 21 bottles, to pave the way.
A couple of Budweisers landed in Cobham as well, headed for a Kepa Arrizabalaga, who gave up on them before joining Chelsea. Notoriously, Messi has already had a long drought of goals against Chelsea, although he ended up breaking it in 2017-18. At that time it was Thibaut Courtois who scored for us, although Petr Čech also ended up conceding goals to Messi after moving to Arsenal.
In any case, congratulations to everyone involved in this little publicity stunt. Beer may not be good, but that’s not the point, anyway.
PS: If you have an hour (!), Here are all the other 643 goals from Messi before breaking the record on Tuesday.