It turns out, there are some advantages to the fact that Lionel Messi was unsuccessful in his attempt to leave FC Barcelona over the summer. The Argentine great scored his 644th goal for Barcelona last night, breaking a record previously set by Brazilian legend Pele for most goals scored for one club.

Messi achieved the amazing feat during Barcelona's 0-3 win over Real Valladolid in La Liga last night.

The 33-year-old Barca captain scored Barcelona's third goal in the 65th minute after collecting a backheel pass from Pedri.

Messi also helped manufacture Barcelona's first goal of the evening. His cross was headed into the goal by Clement Lenglet in the 21st minute. He also started the attack that led to Martin Braithwaite's goal.

In injury time, Messi also hit the the post and threatened to further extend Barca's lead.

In the end, he was only able to score once but it was enough to break past the 643 goal record previously set by Brazil great Pele. He achieved the feat with Brazilian club Santos between 1956 and 1974.

Messi's impressive campaign with FC Barcelona started with his first goal from way back in 2005. He might have lost the opportunity to break the record if he had been successful in his bid to seek a transfer before the start of the current season.

Messi will be able to start negotiating with other clubs by January, and a transfer might take place in June. That is, if he won't be convinced to extend his Barcelona contract. Nevertheless, that leaves him with at least six more months to further extend the scoring record.

It was long believed that it would be impossible to break Pele's record. Now, Messi is setting another record that will be even harder to break. Scoring an average of 40 plus goals a season is hard enough, doing it with a single club for over 15 years is even harder.

Records aside, Barca fans will be happy to see their captain back in top form after suffering a slump for the start of the season. He admitted that the transfer issues over the summer dampened his mood and affected his performance. Barcelona ended up in mid table for the first few months of the season, and have only just clawed their way up to fifth place.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi scoring his record-breaking 644th goal for Barcelona AFP / Cesar Manso