- Pele won three World Cup titles during his active days
- The Brazil legend also held the record of most goals for one club until Messi broke it this month
- Pele has now emerged as the player with most Ballon d'Or awards after winning seven
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Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was believed to have won the highest number of Ballon d'Or awards after clinching his sixth prize in 2019.
But this appears to be untrue as the organisers of the event have come out to reveal that three-time World Cup winner, Pele, has more.
The Brazil legend was said to have been awarded seven times after re-evaluating the procedure of picking the winner.
According to Sport Bible, only European footballers were opened to winning the prize until 1995 - a process deemed unfair.
Breaking: Drama as Santos release statement denying Lionel Messi has beaten Pele’s single club goal record
And this led France Football to re-arrange their guidelines which then widened their scope of selecting the truly deserving player for the world's best honour.
The publication revealed that in 2016, the organisers went back and did an "international re-evaluation" to determine who truly deserved the award if it had been global - and retrospectively gave Pele seven; 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, and 1970.
Players like Diego Maradona won twice according to the new arrangement, while the likes of Romario, Mario Kempes and Garrincha also joined Pele on the honorary winners' list.
The organisers went as far as putting a picture of the three-time World Cup winner on a magazine cover with his golden trophies and the headline: "Pele 7 Ballon d'Or".
However, Lionel Messi must step up his game if he must overtake his South American compatriot on the chart, having already broken his goals scoring record for one club.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Brazilian club Santos has released a lengthy statement claiming legendary Pele actually scored a staggering 1,091 goals during his time at the club.
The club admits Lionel Messi’s legendary status, but claims that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was yet to break Pele’s record of the player with most goals for a single club, SunSport reports.
Messi scored his 644th goal for Barcelona in their tie against Real Valladolid and that strike took his tally one above Pele who had 643 for Santos.
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