Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

One skill, one leg, can’t head - Pele’s damning assessment of Messi

One skill, one leg, can’t head - Pele’s damning assessment of Messi

TO start with Pele was a bit diplomatic saying it's a matter of taste of people as to who likes whom. We talked and I told him: "'In soccer, God gave you a gift, but what you did (diving) is what made it hard for you".

He pointed out that to effectively compare with his own professional achievements, one would have "to shoot well with the left, shoot well with the right, and score headers".

"You will ask me: 'Was Maradona better than Messi?'" he added.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor does not have the all-round game that he and Maradona once possessed, according to the Brazilian.

One of the biggest debates in football among fans, and pundits alike, is the ability of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and who is the best player in the world.

"[Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff are also better".

Both Pele and Maradona have flip-flopped between loving and hating Messi. Pele told Folha de Sao Paulo when asked about Messi, as well as the overall rating of the world's most skilled and promising players. He's got great partners, excellent, although they do not always have the same chance to get on the field.

The Brazilian lifted three in 1958, 1962 and 1970, while Messi has failed to win one, losing in the 2014 final to Germany.

Brazilian legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups with Brazil and is the leading scorer in his national team's history with 77 goals. "He won the World Cup".

"I told him he had football to spare, I've been to Europe twice with him recently, we have discussed it and I explained it to him".

In recent years he has endured a series of health challenges, but said he is now feeling 100 percent.

"You mention several names, but from the last 10 or 15 years, I think Messi's been the most consistent player, without doubt".

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