Pele, Federer, Fury, Others Pay Tributes To Queen Elizabeth II

This file photo taken on June 5, 2022, shows the Queen. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP)

 

Roger Federer hailed Queen Elizabeth II for her “elegance” and “grace” as the world of sport stopped to pay tribute to the British monarch following her death aged 96.

Sporting events in Britain scheduled for Friday, including Test cricket and European golf’s PGA Championship, were cancelled as a mark of respect.

British horse racing chiefs also pressed the pause button as tributes poured in for the queen across the sporting world.

In New York, there was a moment of silence at the US Open just before the women’s semi-finals got underway.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Her Royal Majesty,” tweeted Federer, who met the queen when she visited Wimbledon in 2010.

“Her elegance, grace, and loyalty to her duty will live on in history,” added the eight-time Wimbledon champion, who was not playing at the US Open.

READ ALSOQueen Elizabeth II Dies At 96

(FILE) A handout picture obtained from the Qatar Tennis Federation on March 11, 2021, shows Roger Federer at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in the Qatari capital Doha. Samer Al-Rejjal / Qatar Tennis Federation / AFP

 

Fellow tennis legend Rafael Nadal tweeted his “most respectful, sincere and deepest condolences”.

Brazilian football great Pele was among other sports stars who paid tribute.

“I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968, when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracana,” he tweeted.

“Her deeds have marked generations. This legacy will last forever.”

England football captain Harry Kane was another to mourn the queen’s death on Thursday, writing on Twitter: “The queen was an amazing inspiration and will be remembered for her incredible years of service to this country. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Friday’s play between England and South Africa in the third Test at the Oval in London would not take place.

Thursday’s first day in London was washed out without a ball bowled. The three-match series is locked at 1-1.

(FILE) Brazilian football legend Pele takes part in a meeting with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and France national football team forward Kylian Mbappe (unseen) at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris on April 2, 2019. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Play at the PGA Championship at Wentworth, near London, was suspended on Thursday evening when news broke of the death of the monarch and it was later confirmed that there would be no play on Friday.

Cycling’s Tour of Britain, which was set to finish on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, was called off entirely after Thursday’s fifth stage.

Manchester United’s 1-0 home defeat in the Europa League against Real Sociedad went ahead but a minute’s silence was held before kick-off and players wore black armbands.

The English Football League announced the postponement of Friday’s two scheduled matches, adding “a determination regarding the remainder of this weekend’s scheduled fixtures will be made following a review of the official mourning guidance”.

 

Racing In Mourning

It was reported that a meeting of governing bodies across a range of sports has been scheduled for Friday morning, where officials will set out government guidance on the official 10-day period of mourning.

It is understood British sports chiefs will be left to make their own judgements regarding the staging of events.

A file photo of Boxer Tyson Fury during a news conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on June 12, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

 

The British Horseracing Authority said the sport was in mourning for the queen, who showed an intense passion for racing throughout her life.

“Her Majesty has been one of the greatest and most influential supporters in the history of horse racing,” the BHA said.

“Her passion for racing and the race horse shone brightly throughout her life”.

The BHA’s statement added: “It is right, therefore, that all racing is suspended for today and tomorrow as we begin to grieve Her Majesty’s passing and remember her extraordinary life and contribution to our sport and our nation.”

 

‘Grievously Missed’

Former England captain and current World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, along with World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, also paid their respects.

“I will never forget her total commitment to the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Coe tweeted.

“She has been a source of continuity and comfort, and she will be grievously missed by us all.”

Tyson Fury, Britain’s heavyweight world boxing champion, posted a picture of the queen on Twitter along with the words: “Thoughts & prayers with my Queen tonight, may God be with you.”

In Australia, a British colony for more than 100 years, the National Rugby League and Australian Football League were set to hold a minute’s silence prior to weekend fixtures.

Cricket and soccer were expected to follow suit as a mark of respect.

FIRST 11: Serena Williams’ Chelsea Ownership Push+Top Sports Stories This Week

 

With the sanctions on Russian businesses biting harder, the quest for a new Chelsea owner has been ramped up. This time, tennis icon Serena Williams and F1 great Lewis Hamilton, are the ones pushing to own a stake in the Premier League club.  

The Super Eagles also knew their opponents for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers just as the team’s former coach Gernot Rohr awaits FIFA’s verdict over his sack.  These and more are some of the top sports stories covered in First 11 this week.

READ ALSO: Chelsea Bidders Set To Discover Their Fate

Condolences Pour As Ronaldo Loses Baby

We kick off from England where torrents of condolence messages have been poured in for Cristiano Ronaldo following his son’s death. The former Real Madrid star and wife confirmed their baby boy’s demise in a social media post.

Manchester United, his former clubs, players, and fans thronged social media to comfort the multiple Champions League winner over the sad incident.

The Portuguese star was excused from United’s tie with Liverpool earlier in the week. He, however, was available for selection as the Red Devils lost to Arsenal on Saturday.

Maguire Gets Bomb Threat

Still in Manchester United. Team captain Harry Maguire received a bomb threat but it was unknown who was behind it.

Cheshire Constabulary swept the 29-year-old’s home to ensure his safety. Maguire was up for selection against the Gunners.

The English defender, who stays with his fiancee and two kids, is having a turbulent campaign and has been the subject of stinging criticism from pundits and jeers from fans.

Man United Name Coach

Meanwhile, Manchester United has appointed Erik ten Hag as their manager next season.

The 52-year-old, who has signed a three-year contract, faces a huge task to revive the Red Devils’ fortunes after a fifth consecutive trophyless season. The Dutchman becomes the fifth permanent manager at Old Trafford since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 sent the 20-time English champions into decline.

Drogba, Others Inducted Into EPL Hall of Fame

Equally, Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes was in the news this week. The Englishman joined Didier Drogba and Sergio Aguero as the latest inductee into the EPL Hall of Fame.

Vincent Kompany, Ian Wright, and Peter Schmeichel alongside Wayne Rooney and Patrick Vieira are also in the “Class of 2022” inductees.

Serena, Hamilton Join Chelsea Bid

For Man United’s rivals, Chelsea, the sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich over Russia’s war with Ukraine are set to cause major changes in the team. The club has been up for sale and tennis icon Serena Williams as well as Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton have expressed interest in having a stake in the London side.

They will be investing about £20m into a consortium to buy Chelsea and both are part of a group of investors backing the European champions’ takeover offer spearheaded by Sir Martin Broughton.

Serena and Hamilton have each pledged £10m to the bid. Lord Coe is believed to be part of the British-led consortium.

Russia, Belarussian Players Banned From Wimbledon

Aside from football, the Russian-Ukraine war is creating ripples in other sports. Earlier in the week, Russian players were barred from Wimbledon. Belarussian players were also affected, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) said.

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev; Aryna Sabalenka, and women’s four Victoria Azarenka are some of the top players affected. The move drew wide criticism from players, fans, and others stakeholders in the tennis world.

But Russian officials have rejected the ban, describing it as “unacceptable”.

Nigeria Paired For AFCON Qualifiers

In Nigeria, the Super Eagles were paired with Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and either Sao Tome or Mauritius in the qualifiers for next year’s AFCON. The draws were held in Jo’burg, South Africa, and qualifications for the tournament will start in May.

The Super Eagles, who failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, will also be aiming to make amends for their early exit at the last AFCON. The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 editions and won bronze in Egypt in 2019.

Rohr Awaits FIFA Verdict

The development came as a former coach of the team, Gernot Rohr, awaits FIFA’s verdict over his sack. Rohr had reported the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to the football body for breaching contractual terms.

Reports suggest that FIFA had concluded their investigations and are set to deliver judgment on the $1m claims being made by former Niger Republic gaffer. The Franco-German had met all conditions in his contract but was sacked with one year left in the deal. While the NFF said it would pay Rohr his salary until the end of his contract, the ex-Niger boss took the NFF to FIFA. He is seeking compensation for his ‘unfair’ dismissal.

Kano Pillars Sanctioned, Banished

On the local scene, Kano Pillars were sanctioned for fans’ hooliganism. The former Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions were fined N9m and banished to Abuja for the rest of the season following the incident which took place last weekend. The club’s fans have, however, condemned the attack which led to the destruction of the visiting team’s bus.

Pele Hospitalised Again

Away from Nigeria, football great Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo as part of his treatment for colon cancer.

But the clinical condition of Edson Arantes do Nascimento is “good and stable, and he should be discharged from hospital in the next few days,” the Albert Einstein Hospital said on Tuesday.

Before his diagnosis of colon cancer, which led to Pele being hospitalized for a month last year, the former star of Santos and the Brazilian team was hospitalized in Paris in 2019 and transferred to Sao Paulo to have a kidney stone removed.

Five years before then, he was in intensive care due to a urinary tract infection that forced him to undergo dialysis on his left kidney. The right one was removed in the 1970s due to an injury when he was still a player.

Maradona Shirt Auction Opens

The auction for the jersey worn by Pele’s late friend, Diego Maradona, when he scored twice against England in the 1986 World Cup, including the infamous “hand of God” goal, kicked off with a bid of over $5 million.

Sotheby’s is selling the blue number 10 Argentina shirt in an online sale that runs until May 4. Hours after bidding opened, the site showed that the first offer of £4 million ($5.2 million) — matching the low end of the auction house’s pre-sale estimate — had been registered. That would set a new record price for a football jersey at auction.

The record for a game-worn shirt from any sport is $5.6 million, set in 2019 for a jersey Babe Ruth wore while on the New York Yankees.

Pele Hospitalized Again For Colon Cancer Treatment

In this handout file photo released by WEF and taken on March 14, 2018, Brazilian football legend Pele smiles during the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14, 2018. 
Benedikt VON LOEBELL / World Economic Forum (WEF) / AF

 

 

Brazilian football great Pele has been hospitalized in Sao Paulo since Monday as part of his treatment for colon cancer, the medical center that treats him said.

The clinical condition of Edson Arantes do Nascimento is “good and stable, and he should be discharged from hospital in the next few days,” the Albert Einstein Hospital said Tuesday in a statement.

Considered by many the greatest footballer of all time, Pele is the only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).

Known in Brazil as “O Rei,” or “The King,” the 81-year-old must go to the hospital at least once a month to undergo check-ups and continue chemotherapy against the colon tumor that was detected last September, according to his family.

Before his diagnosis of colon cancer, which led to Pele being hospitalized for a month last year, the former star of Santos and the Brazilian team was hospitalized in Paris in 2019 and transferred to Sao Paulo to have a kidney stone removed.

In 2014, the legendary “10” was hospitalized in intensive care due to a urinary tract infection that forced him to undergo dialysis on his left kidney, after the right one was removed in the 1970s due to an injury when he was still a player .

He also had hip problems that limited his mobility and forced him to use a wheelchair.

Pele Discharged From Hospital

In this handout file photo released by WEF and taken on March 14, 2018, Brazilian football legend Pele smiles during the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14, 2018. Benedikt VON LOEBELL / World Economic Forum (WEF) / AF

 

Brazilian football great Pele was discharged from hospital Thursday after two weeks of chemotherapy for a colon tumor, announced the Sao Paulo hospital that treated him.

The 81-year-old ex-player known as “O Rei” (The King) “is stable and will continue the treatment of the colon tumor that was identified in September of this year,” the Albert Einstein Hospital said in a statement.

Pele underwent surgery for the tumor on September 4, spending a month in the hospital before being discharged to continue chemotherapy.

It is the latest in a string of health troubles for the aging star, whose public appearances have grown increasingly rare.

READ ALSO: Morocco Coach Halilhodzic Fears Africa Cup Of Nations Could Be Called Off

Considered by many the greatest footballer of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele’s real name — is the only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).

He burst onto the global stage at just 17 by scoring dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

He went on to have one of the most storied careers in sport, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.

Pele announced on Instagram on December 9 that he would stay in hospital for just “a few days” for chemotherapy.

He ended up staying for two weeks.

“Don’t worry, I’m just getting ready for the holiday season!” he said in a message to fans.

AFP

Football Legend Pele Hospitalised

Brazilian football legend Pele speaks during a meeting with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and France national football team forward Kylian Mbappe at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris/ AFP

 

Brazilian football legend Pele has been hospitalized for treatment of a previously identified colon tumor, his doctors said Wednesday, the latest health problem for the 81-year-old icon.

The three-time world champion was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo “for follow-up treatment of the colon tumor identified in September this year,” his medical team said in a statement.

“The patient is stable, and is expected to be released in the coming days.”

Pele underwent surgery for the tumor on September 4, spending a month in the hospital before being released to continue chemotherapy from home.

READ ALSO: Johnson Confirms UK’s ‘Diplomatic Boycott’ Of Beijing Olympics

Considered by many the greatest footballer of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele’s real name — has been in poor health in recent years, and has spent various stints in the hospital.

The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), he burst onto the global stage at just 17 with dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

“O Rei” (The King) went on to have one of the most storied careers in sport, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.

Pele Briefly Back In ICU But Now ‘Stable’, Says Hospital

In this handout file photo released by WEF and taken on March 14, 2018, Brazilian football legend Pele smiles during the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14, 2018. Football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele, has been hospitalized for six days in Sao Paulo after some health problems were discovered during routine examinations, local media reported on Monday, September 6.
Benedikt VON LOEBELL / World Economic Forum (WEF) / AF

 

 

Brazilian football legend Pele, 80, was briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit Friday after suffering breathing difficulties but is now stable, said the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month.

The transfer was a temporary “preventative measure,” the hospital said in a statement, adding that the sporting great was later transferred to “semi-intensive care” as he continues to recover from surgery for a suspected colon tumor.

“He is currently stable from a cardiovascular and respiratory point of view,” it added.

Shortly afterwards, the ex-footballer posted a message on social media stating: “Friends, I am still recovering very well. Today I received visits from family and I am still smiling every day.”

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital, seeking to cheer up his fans.

“This is the normal recovery scenario for a man his age. After an operation like this, sometimes you take two steps forward, one step back,” Nascimento wrote on Instagram next to the photo.

“Yesterday he was tired and he took a step back. Today, he has taken two steps forward,” she added.

In the photo, Pele is seen on what looks like a hospital bed in a black puff vest or jacket, alert and smiling.

“He is recovering well, under normal conditions, I promise!” Nascimento added. “There is a lot of angst in the world these days and we don’t want to add to it.”

On September 6 the hospital said Pele had undergone surgery for a suspected colon tumor.

He originally left the ICU unit on Tuesday, telling his fans on social media that he was feeling happier by the day and was looking forward to reuniting with them.

The suspected tumor was detected during routine tests, according to the hospital, where Pele has been undergoing treatment since August 31.

Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has been in poor health in recent years, and has had various stints in the hospital.

The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele burst onto the global stage at just 17 with dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

Four years later, Pele gave a tantalizing glimpse of his ability with an electric individual goal against Mexico in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win.

“O Rei” (The King) went on to have one of the most storied careers in sport, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.

Pele Remains In ICU, Feeling ‘A Little Better’

In this handout file photo released by WEF and taken on March 14, 2018, Brazilian football legend Pele smiles during the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14, 2018. 
Benedikt VON LOEBELL / World Economic Forum (WEF) / AFP

 

 

Brazilian football legend Pele remains in intensive care but is making a satisfactory recovery after undergoing surgery for a suspected colon tumor, his doctors said Friday.

Pele’s medical team at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement that he was “actively conversing and displaying vital signs within normal range.”

Pele, 80, took to Instagram to reassure his fans.

“My friends, with each passing day I feel a little better. I’m looking forward to playing again, but I’m still going to recover for a few more days,” he said.

“While I’m here, I take the opportunity to talk a lot with my family and to rest. Thanks again for all the loving messages. We’ll be together again soon!”

The suspected tumor was detected during routine tests, according to the hospital, where Pele has been undergoing treatment since August 31.

Considered by many the greatest footballer of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele’s real name, has been in poor health in recent years, and has had various stints in the hospital.

The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele burst onto the global stage at just 17 with dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

“O Rei” (The King) went on to have one of the most storied careers in sport, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.

Brazil Legend Pele Recovering After Tumor Operation

In this handout file photo released by WEF and taken on March 14, 2018, Brazilian football legend Pele smiles during the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14, 2018. 
Benedikt VON LOEBELL / World Economic Forum (WEF) / AF

 

 

Brazilian football great Pele has undergone surgery for a suspected colon tumor and is recovering, the hospital in Sao Paulo treating him announced on Monday.

“The tumor was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory examinations and the material was sent for pathological analysis,” said the Albert Einstein Hospital, where Pele has been treated since August 31.

“I thank God for feeling very well,” the 80-year-old wrote on his Instagram page on Monday.

“Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you.

“I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”

Pele is due out of intensive care on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement.

His former club Santos shared a message of support for the star on Twitter. “It will be one more victory in your life, we wish you a good recovery!” the club said.

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has been in poor health in recent years, and has had various spells in hospital, most recently in April 2019, in Paris, because of a severe urinary tract infection.

Back in Brazil, he had a kidney stone removed.

At the end of 2014, he suffered from a serious urinary tract infection and was placed in intensive care and on dialysis.

He also has hip problems and needed a walker to move around during his latest public appearances.

In February 2020, Pele reassured his fans about his mental health, after remarks by his son Edinho saying that he was “reclusive” and suffering “from a certain form of depression.”

– Three World Cups –
The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time.

He burst onto the global stage at just 17 with dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

Four years later, Pele gave a tantalizing glimpse of his ability with an electric individual goal against Mexico in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win.

But he aggravated an existing injury in the second game, against the Czechs, and was forced to sit out the remainder of the tournament as his countrymen successfully defended their title.

Nicknamed “O Rei” (The King), Pele scored the opener in Brazil’s 4-1 final win over Italy in Mexico in 1970.

After retiring from international football, Pele went on to play for the New York Cosmos, before ending his career with over 1,000 goals to his name.

‘I’ll Face This Match With A Smile’: Pele Undergoes Surgery

In this handout file photo released by WEF and taken on March 14, 2018, Brazilian football legend Pele smiles during the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14, 2018.  Benedikt VON LOEBELL / World Economic Forum (WEF) / AF

 

Brazilian football great Pele has undergone surgery for a suspected colon tumor and is recovering, the hospital in Sao Paolo treating him announced on Monday.

“The tumor was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory examinations and the material was sent for pathological analysis,” said the Albert Einstein Hospital where Pele has been treated since August 31.

“I thank God for feeling very well,” the 80-year-old wrote on his Instagram page on Monday.

“Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you.

“I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”

Pele is due out of intensive care on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement.

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has been in poor health in recent years, and has had various spells in hospital, most recently in April 2019, in Paris, because of a severe urinary tract infection.

Back in Brazil, he had a kidney stone removed.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pelé (@pele)

At the end of 2014, he suffered from a serious urinary tract infection and was placed in intensive care and on dialysis.

He also has hip problems and needed a walker to move around during his latest public appearances.

In February 2020, Pele reassured his fans about his mental health, after remarks by his son Edinho saying that he was “reclusive” and suffering “from a certain form of depression.”

READ ALSOEgypt Sack Coach After World Cup Qualifier Draw With Gabon

 Three World Cups 

Pele won the World Cup thrice. AFP

 

The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time.

He burst onto the global stage at just 17 with dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

Four years later, Pele gave a tantalizing glimpse of his ability with an electric individual goal against Mexico in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win.

But he aggravated an existing injury in the second game, against the Czechs, and was forced to sit out the remainder of the tournament as his countrymen successfully defended their title.

Nicknamed “O Rei” (The King), Pele scored the opener in Brazil’s 4-1 final win over Italy in Mexico in 1970.

After retiring from international football, Pele went on to play for the New York Cosmos, before ending his career with over 1,000 goals to his name.

AFP

Ronaldo Becomes Top Scorer Of All Time As Disputes Persist Over Record

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo poses for photographers with the winners’ trophy after the Italian Super Cup (Supercoppa italiana) football match between Juventus and Napoli on January 20, 2021 at the Mapei stadium – Citta del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia. T
MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 760th career goal in Juventus’ 2-0 Italian Super Cup win over Napoli on Wednesday, prompting claims he is the top scorer of all time. However, doubts persist as to who actually holds the record.

With five goals for Sporting Lisbon, 118 for Manchester United, 450 for Real Madrid, 85 for Juventus and 102 for Portugal, there is little debate over Ronaldo’s own tally.

The Portuguese forward, who turns 36 next month, is the undisputed holder of several records, easily the leading scorer for Real Madrid and his country, and above Lionel Messi in the Champions League goalscoring charts.

But uncertainty arises from the totals of his rivals from previous eras, with the likes of Brazilian duo Pele and Romario both claiming to have netted more than 1,000 goals.

Last month Barcelona’s Messi surpassed Pele’s recognised total of 643 goals for a single club, but Santos swiftly countered saying the three-time World Cup winner racked up 1,091 goals for them including those in friendlies.

Pele’s own Instagram bio notes he is the “Leading Goal Scorer of All Time (1,283)”.

However, if just official matches are the measuring stick, the Brazilian is apparently still behind Josef Bican, who football historians calculated scored 805 goals between 1931 and 1955 playing for half a dozen clubs as well as Austria and Czechoslovakia.

“‘Pepi’, as he was known, is credited with scoring 805 goals in 530 games, giving him a career average of 1.52 goals per game,” FIFA.com said in an article devoted to him last year.

Included in that number though are 27 goals for Rapid Vienna’s reserve and amateur sides, in addition to some that were scored not in official international matches.

Discounting those strikes puts Bican on 759 goals from just 495 games, although international football research website RSSSF (Rec. Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation) says data is partially missing from the 1952 season in the Czech second division.

Pele is credited with between 757 and 767 goals in competitive matches over his career, which included 92 Brazil internationals and two seasons with the New York Cosmos.

He is listed third (767) by RSSSF behind Romario, who helped Brazil to the 1994 World Cup and ended with 772 goals.

Romario celebrated reaching a “personal count” of 1,000 goals in 2007, a total comprising strikes at youth level and in friendlies and testimonials.

Other reports and statisticians suggest Romario’s official haul is just under 750 following a globetrotting career that included spells at PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Flamengo, Miami FC and Adelaide United.

As for Messi, who at 33 is two years Ronaldo’s junior, he is on 719 goals for Barcelona and Argentina and will undoubtedly factor into the equation before he is done.

What is certain is that even if Ronaldo did not break the all-time record, the mark appears well within reach for a player who continues to score at a remarkable rate as he approaches his 36th birthday.

-AFP

‘History Can’t Be Revised’: Santos FC Dispute Messi’s 644 Goal Record

A photo combination of Pele and Lionel Messi created on December 28, 2020.
A photo combination of Pele and Lionel Messi created on December 28, 2020.

 

Lionel Messi hit a historic landmark recently when he scored his 644th goal for Barcelona against Real Valladolid in La Liga, surpassing Pelé as the player with the most goals scored for a single club.

However, Brazilian football club Santos, in a statement released on Saturday, claimed that Messi is yet to surpass its legend’s record.

Santos put Pele’s total goal haul at 1,091.

READ ALSO: Messi Breaks Pele’s Record As Top Scorer At A Single Club

There has been a  lot of controversy about how many goals the all-time leading goal scorer for Brazil actually scored for Santos. While he has been credited with 643 goals for the Brazilian club Pele has claimed in the past that he scored over 1,000.

“In the last few days, much has been said in the press and on social media about the number of goals scored by Pelé with the Santos Futebol Clube shirt,” the Santos statement said.

“According to some statisticians, Argentine Lionel Messi (Barcelona) became the player with the most goals for the same club, reaching 644 goals for the Catalan club, excluding friendly matches – called by some as official goals.”

Santos made a claim for Pele, saying goals against the likes of Real Madrid Juventus, and Inter Milan should be included in the overall goal count.

“The 448 goals that today they try to disqualify, were scored against the main clubs and teams of the season. América (Mexico) and Colo Colo (Chile) each suffered nine goals from Pelé. Internazionale Milan, one of the main teams in Europe in the 1960s, suffered eight more goals from the King. The list is immense and with participants weight: River Plate, Boca Juniors, Racing, Universidad de Chile, Real Madrid, Juventus, Lazio, Napoli, Benfica and Anderlecht. Barcelona himself, where Messi now plays, was also a victim of Pelé: four goals, scored in four matches.”

The statement went further to fault statistics in misleading the general public.

“A small sample of how the statistical cut can mislead us, is when we analyze the titles of the Campeonato Paulista. When we consider only the era of professionalism in São Paulo football (from 1933), Santos becomes the biggest state champion, with 22 achievements – alongside Corinthians. In this way it surpasses Palmeiras, which stands at 19. Still, historical revisionism cannot erase history: the titles of the amateur era are valid, with equal importance to those won after the implementation of professionalism. Thus, Santos has 22 wins, against 30 from Corinthians and 23 from Palmeiras.”

Messi Breaks Pele’s Record As Top Scorer At A Single Club

Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between Real Valladolid FC and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on December 22, 2020. Cesar Manso / AFP

 

Lionel Messi beat Pele’s record of goals for a single club when he scored his 644th for Barcelona in a 3-0 victory against Valladolid on Tuesday.

The Argentina forward scored Barca’s third goal when he collected Pedri’s backheel and struck the ball past goalkeeper Jordi Masip in the 65th minute.

“When I started playing football I never thought I would break any records. And even less the one I achieved today,” Messi posted on Instagram shortly after the game.

“I can only thank all those who helped me over the years, my teammates, my family, my friends and all those who support me every day.”

Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between Real Valladolid FC and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on December 22, 2020. Cesar Manso / AFP

 

Messi had equalled Pele on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Valencia.

The two men scored at almost an equal rate for their clubs.

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It was the 33-year-old Argentine’s 749th competitive match for Barca, meaning he has scored a goal every 1.16 games.

The Brazilian scored 643 goals in 757 matches with Santos, where he played between 1956 and 1974, or one every 1.17 matches.

“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,” Pele wrote to Messi on Instagram after the Argentine tied the record.

“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.”

Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, is by far the highest scorer in Barca history (Cesar Rodriguez is next on 230 goals), the highest scorer in the history of the Spanish league championship (451 goals, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 311), and the player who has won the most trophies with the Catalan club (34, including four Champions Leagues).

“I see Messi happy. He is working hard, and he is a very important part of our attacking game,” said Koeman after the win.

Pele claims to have scored more than a thousand goals, counting all the matches he played, official and unofficial.

But in competitive matches Pele appears to be second to Austrian and Czechoslovakian striker Josef Bican, who football historians have calculated scored 805 goals between 1931 and 1955 playing for half a dozen clubs and three national teams.

Pele, with between 757 and 767 goals in competitive matches over his career, which also include 92 Brazil internationals and two seasons with the New York Cosmos, is ahead of Messi with 714 for club and country and the more travelled Cristiano Ronaldo (754).

Pele still holds the record for most international goals by a South American with 77 for Brazil but Messi has 71 for Argentina.

AFP