Brazil icon Pele’s sensational attack on Lionel Messi has come back to haunt him after the Argentina star smashed the Brazilian’s goalscoring record in a 3-0 win over Bolivia
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- 11:43, 10 Sep 2021
Brazil legend Pele's scathing past comments on Lionel Messi have come back to haunt him after the Argentinian superstar smashed his South American goalscoring record.
For an added layer of irony, Messi scored the record-setting goal with his right foot, after the Brazil icon claimed he could only use his left.
Pele has been the continent's top scorer with 77 goals in 92 games for Brazil.
But Messi eclipsed that total with his hat-trick in Argentina's 3-0 win World Cup qualifying win over Bolivia on Friday morning.
That treble takes the 34-year-old's tally to 79 goals in 154 games for his country.
Pele caused a stir a couple of years ago when he launched a sensational attack on Messi, insisting that the Paris Saint-Germain star only had "one skill".
Pelé's remarks on Messi back in 2018 were controversial to say the least
“How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn’t head the ball well?” he told Folha de Sao Paulo back in 2018.
“How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers.”
Since making those comments, Messi had been closing in on the Brazilian's record.
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After the match, Messi and his team-mates were able to parade the Copa America trophy around in front of the 20,000 fans in attendance in Buenos Aires.
In an emotional post-match interview, Messi said: "I was very nervous, I just wanted to enjoy the night. I waited a long time for this.
“We won the game that was the most important thing and now we can celebrate.
"It was a unique moment [to win the Copa America] because of where and how we obtained the title," Messi said.
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"There was no better way to do it and been able to celebrate the title now, it's incredible. My mother, my brothers are here in the stands. They have suffered a lot … I'm very happy."
Messi's history-making night comes hot on the heels of his rival Cristiano Ronaldo also making history during the international break.
The 36-year-old netted a late double against the Republic of Ireland to become the world's leading all-time scorer with 111 goals – breaking the record previously held by former Iran striker Ali Daei with 109 goals.
Lionel Messi paraded the Copa America trophy after breaking Pele's record on an emotional night in Buenos Aires
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In a fascinating quirk, Messi's new PSG team-mate Neymar is only 10 goals behind Messi in the race to create history.
It appears inevitable that the Brazilian will overtake Messi eventually, with the attacker aged 29 – a full five years younger than Messi.
The pair linked up again this summer in France following Messi's sensational exit from Barcelona due to the La Liga giants financial woes.
Neymar and Messi had earlier starred alongside each other at the Nou Camp, alongside Luis Suarez, in one of the most prolific attacking units in the modern game.
Comment MORE ON Argentina football teamParis Saint-GermainLionel Messi
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