Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Pele Writes Off Comparisons Between Limited Lionel Messi & Himself

Pele Writes Off Comparisons Between Limited Lionel Messi & Himself

According to the football legend, 5-time Ballon d'Or victor Lionel Messi is less "complete" than himself or Diego Maradona, citing Messi's generally one-sided kicks and no headers.

Cape Town - Brazilian legend Pele says Lionel Messi "can't compare" to him as a player while blasting the Barcelona attacker for being one dimensional.

Indeed, three-time World Cup victor Pele does not even think Messi is the best Argentinian player in history - telling Folha de Sao Paulo that Diego Maradona was "much better". "To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers". Much better. [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff are also better.

The 78-year-old also criticised Messi for being one-footed.

Three-time World Cup victor Pele, 78, is widely acknowledged as among the best - if not the best - to have graced the game, with Diego Maradona often seen as his closest competitor for GOAT status.

Pele, meanwhile, said no one should try to compare him with Messi, suggesting their skillset was completely different.

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"He won the World Cup", he said, while going on to evaluate Neymar as "a more complete player" than Mbappe, who is wildly popular in Europe now, Pele remarked.

Messi this week missed out on netting a sixth Ballon d'Or for the world's best player, and incredibly only finished fifth on the list as Croatia and Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric walked home with the accolade.

"How can you compare?"

"It's hard to defend Neymar for all the things he does outside of soccer".

Messi was let down by the fact that he didn't feature in the latter stages of the Champions League and World Cup.

The Brazilian star, however, said Neymar is a "better player" than Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, his colleague at Paris Saint-Germain and who this year won the World Cup in Russian Federation with the French national team.

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