Earlier this week, Lionel Messi scored his 644th career goal for Barcelona, as they beat Valladolid, 3-0, and thus broke the Pelé’s nearly 50-year record of most goals scored for a single club. While records from back in the day can be spotty, Pelé’s officially said to have found the back of the net 643 times in 656 games for Santos. It took Messi 749 games. Slacker.
In any case, Messi’s status as one of the absolute best to ever play the game is not at all in doubt, but the coolest way his achievement has been commemorated is thanks to a publicity stunt from Budweiser, of all companies.
"In this game, no goal is easy"— Budweiser Football (@budfootball) December 23, 2020
Which is why we’ve created a custom bottle for all 644 goals Leo Messi scored. Yes, that’s 644 unique bottles.
Sent to all 160 goalkeepers Messi scored against to toast their part in making history.#BeAKing #Messi #KingOfBeers #KingOfFootball pic.twitter.com/1oCgLvQm6B
The American (near-)beer-maker, self-styled “King of Beers” and all that, has decided to honor the King of Football by sending an individualized bottle of Bud for each one of the goals scored to the goalkeeper who conceded that goal. That’s 644 bottles of beer, for 644 goals, to 160 different goalkeepers.
Some, especially those with long careers in La Liga, got a rather sizable delivery. Iker Casillas got 17 bottles. Jan Oblak was two short of a 12-pack. Former Valencia and Almería goalkeeper Diego Alves got more than twice that, with 21 bottles, to lead the way.
Congratulations on your great achievement of 644 goals, Leo. I never like conceding but the challenge of stopping you brings the best out of goalkeepers too. Thank you @budfootball for the special gift. #BeAKing #Messi pic.twitter.com/3Nmn9dVycu— Jan Oblak (@oblakjan) December 24, 2020
A couple Budweisers landed at Cobham as well, addressed to one Kepa Arrizabalaga who gave up those two before joining Chelsea. Famously, Messi once had a very long scoring drought against Chelsea, though he eventually broke that in 2017-18. It was Thibaut Courtois in goal for us by then, though Petr Čech would end up conceding to Messi as well, after moving to Arsenal.
In any case, congrats to all involved in this little publicity stunt. The beer may not be good, but that’s not really the point anyway.
P.S.: If you have an hour (!), here are all of Messi’s 643 others goals before he set the record on Tuesday.