• With 12 games at least left this season, Messi eyes to new records
  • Messi is currently the leading goal-scorer in La Liga this season with 19 goals
  • La Liga is set to resume after a three-month break due to coronavirus pandemic

Lionel Messi is looking to surpass soccer greats Pele and Telmo Zarra as La Liga is set to return after a break of nearly three months.

All the soccer leagues were halted in March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. While Bundesliga became the first league to resume a few weeks back, Spain’s La Liga will restart Friday (June 12) with the Seville derby as the first match. Keeping in mind all the lockdown and social distancing rules, La Liga’s remaining matches in the season will be played behind closed doors.

With 19 goals under his belt, Messi is currently leading the goal chart this season in the La Liga ahead of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who has netted 14 La Liga goals so far. Since Barcelona still have 11 games in hand in the league, one can expect Messi to end the season yet again as the highest goal-scorer. If that happens, it’ll be for the seventh time Messi will end a La Liga season with most goals, one more than legendary Zarra, with whom he is currently tied on six. Next on the list is former Barcelona forward Quini, who was the highest goal-scorer in a Spanish season five times.

Meanwhile, Brazil legend Pele currently holds the record for scoring the most goals for a single club. He scored 643 goals for the Brazilian soccer club Santos – a record that was never expected to be broken by any player until Messi broke into the picture. Pele, who played for only two clubs during his 21-year-old club career, scored 643 goals in 656 appearances for Santos before he netted 64 goals for New York Cosmos in as many as 107 matches.

Lionel Messi is La Liga's leading scorer this season with 19 goals
Lionel Messi is La Liga's leading scorer this season with 19 goals AFP / LLUIS GENE

Having played for just one club since his first-team debut in 2004, Messi has netted 638 goals in 750 appearances for Barcelona, across all tournaments. Apart from 11 games in La Liga, Barcelona are yet to play their Round of 16’s second-leg fixture against Napoli in the Champions League and that makes it 12 games in hand for Barca at least so far in the ongoing 2019-20 season.

If the Catalans go through into the quarters of the European tournament, there will be more games, giving Messi a golden opportunity to surpass Pele’s record, which the Brazilian has held for 43 years now.