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Pele: I have edge over Messi

Brazil legend Pele has praised Barcelona star Lionel Messi, but noted that the 24-year-old still has a long way to catch the football legend.

Argentina international Messi became the second player in the history of the Ballon d’Or to win the prestigious award three times in a row when he lifted the title earlier this month in Zurich.

Pele acknowledged that he is a fan of Messi, but stressed that the diminutive attacker faces a hard task to equal him.

“Technically speaking, we are practically at the same level,” Pele told Le Monde. “We have both received a gift from God.”

“Records are made to be broken, but it will be hard to break mine. When Messi has scored 1,283 goals and won three World Cups, then we will talk.”

“People ask me all the time when there will be a new Pele. I tell them: ‘Never’. My parents shut down the factory.”

Fri 20 January, 2012
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519 Comments:

  1. Be Real says:

    Amos. If football has evolved from the war times as you put it, what importance does it have for Messi to break any OLD RECORDS. You Messi groupies are short sited when you want to. Messi is a great player, but he will never win 3 W. Cups. Where it was Pele alone or other 10, Messi will never have a team like that of Pele behind him.
    Sorry but my vote goes to Long Live The King, Pelé.

  2. pure24 says:

    Comparing times is simply a way of trying to go around the FACT that Pele has so many goals; way more goals that even if we were to take away the number of Messi’s entire career league goals from Pele’s tally, he would still beat Messi by an extremely ridiculous margin – Old times or not, Pele’s total goal tally is too big to ignore. If it were that easy those days, they why is it ONLY Pele with such a tremendous tally?

  3. bryanirving says:

    Messi has the edge. World Cup is way more difficult to win now than 50-60 years ago. European leagues are far more globally supplied with top class players than the Brazilian league has ever been. Pele very talented and made the difference in some great teams, but Messi’s goal scoring record in La Liga and over one year makes him in another class. Having watched them both and Maradona, I’d say Pele comes third.

  4. cliff says:

    I think Pele played soccer when there were not too
    many good players Maradona played when soccer
    skills had improved and there were a lot of good
    players, as skills improve it would be impossible to win world cups consecutively for example I think Pele is too boastful. though I think Maradona has the edge
    Regarding Messi he is still young and will sooner or later catch up with the other greats

  5. Talha says:

    He should not compare himself with Messi because I is not possible football used to be a completely different game because if Pele was in Messi’s time he might not do the same. Because football is 3 times more difficult.

  6. derrick says:

    who is lionel messi or maradona compered to pele yes messi is still young but even if he still play foot ball at the age of 45 he will not still score the number of goals that pele scored thesame with him to win 3 world cup not easy in this kind of morden foot ball that is been practies today i will say messi still have a very long way to go to be at the top of pele.

  7. Issac says:

    Does anyone in here have any clue about Pele anyway? Yes his team won 3 WCs but Pele only played in 2 of them. He missed the second wc due to injury. He didn’t play in the knockout rounds of final. And plus there are waaay more teams playing in the WC than in Pele’s era. Lets just get those things straightened out.

  8. Ray says:

    If want to compare,Pele played in a team full of stars that time, but Messi is not (national team).I think Messi is a better player than Pele by far (at their time)

  9. pure24 says:

    Just to clarify @Issac; even two World Cup trophies is still TWO more than Messi. And yes, way more teams – but does that mean a tougher competition? If you note, SPAIN do not seem to mind this “tougher” era… They’ve won all the major tournaments they’ve participated in since 2008. So then we can say that they faced easier opposition, right?

    And about soccer stars, a major number of records is still held by many more people other than Pele who played during Pele’s era. And the guys who won the Ballon d’Or that time as well. The same applies to this era, other guys other than Messi have also made record-breaking feats so soccer is hardly “tougher” now than then. Yes, its more complex, but then so is its mechanisms – in fact, nowadays, defenders have been restricted by so many rules that its not the same as in that time. Even granting awards now is almost Europe-only!
    Lastly, Pele had great teammates, and that’s why soccer is not FULLY about individual performance. And so does Messi, but how can you say that Messi doesn’t play in a team full of stars (BOTH Argentina and Barcelona)? REALLY???

  10. Brad says:

    Another thing Pure:

    this Isaac “genius” said that more teams play now in the WC than back in Pele’s day. What he fails to see is that means, in Pele’s day, only the bona fide teams got to the World Cup. Isaac and company fail to see that, in the words of some actor in Narnia: “Numbers do not win a battle.”

    Also, if you were to compare the skill (not star) level of Pele’s teammates at national level with those of Messi’s, you’ll find Pele’s were superior, at the very least in being the most important thing there is, and that’s being a GOOD teammate, not a GOOD individual player- Argentina are know for individuals (read: Maradona), Messi being one of the relatively few to actually being a team player (Maradona could do it too, but not in a Brazil-esque fashion).

    Messi fans, you might as well give up. You lost this battle the moment Pele pulled out the facts he has over Messi. While the goals record Pele has may be broken by Messi (with La Liga’s defense, outside of RM in particular, and the stricter refs to boot helping Messi), now Messi is at the stage in his career where at most he has 3 more World Cups in him before retirement. And when was the last time a country won THREE CONSECUTIVE WC’s? Oh wait, yeah. . .

    Unless Messi gets some teammates who play with him for Argentina in the mold of his Barca (or while you’re at it, Pele’s teammates with Brazil) teammates, Messi isn’t even going to win two World Cups, let alone three.

    And it’s the World Cup where it matters most. More than domestic league, more than domestic cups, more than World Club Cup, more than Champions League, more than anything and everything else in the world of football.

  11. yes, it is right that pele is a great player but i think he is very proud of himself and his record. Look at leo messi he is very cool he doesn”t care with his records he just enjoy playing football. He goes on playing and scoring goals and i am sure he will beat the record of pele and prove himself as best ever footballer in the world.

  12. pure24 says:

    Brad, I’ve got nothing to say – you just put it bluntly, and bluntly is how the truth is best laid out. No but’s, if’s and maybe’s, just the bare truth.
    At Rupen that is exactly the point! As soon as Messi UNDENIABLY establishes himself as the best EVER, who are we to argue against that? But RIGHT NOW, he’s still got ground to make up… He’s a great lad that Lionel Messi, and he’s good people

  13. Brad says:

    some of those goals have got to be vital ones in the World Cup, Rupen, that help his country win that trophy.

  14. ISLAM ISTANBOULY says:

    IM A BIG FAN OF PELE BUT BACK THEN THE DEFENDERS WASNT AS GOOD AS THEY WERE NOW, ALSO THE GOLIES ALL WHAT WE HEARD ABOUT BACK THEN IS THE PEOPLE WHO SCORE THE GOAL BUT NOW LOOK AT ALL THE NAMES OF DEFANDERS WE HAVE AND HOW GOOD THEY ARE IM SORRY PELE BUT BACK THEN THERE WAS NO DEFENDERS FOR ME MESSI IS THE BEST THAT EVER CAME AND CR7.

  15. Brad says:

    give us some facts, Islam. back then, those defenders may have been sorry, but they made up for it by taking advantage of lax refereeing and tore into attackers. Messi and CR7 wouldn’t survive in that hostile environment, nor any offensive player today.

    how many times must we go over this.

  16. fabio jouliani says:

    well , comparing pele and messi is totally wrong and I am surprise to see pele is comper himself with messi .!! pele was introduce to football when football was simple .in his time it was easy to win over against for example: African or Asian or even other teams in south American beside Argentina Uruguay. in such simplicity if you are good is not surprising to become pele !! don’t give wrong I am not denying pele ability but knowing todays foot bal will tell you how genius messi is
    comering him with ronaldo is wrong too ! ronaldo is more lie excellent finsher whereby messi is not only a good finsher also a play maker and grate passor.

  17. Brad says:

    Have you ever heard the phrase “Football is a simple game, but the hardest thing to do is play simple football”? (May not be completely accurate on the quote, but you get the gist)

    And have you not noticed that eventually Pele and company played the elite opponents during the World Cups back then? Another thing, even now African and Asian teams aren’t as advanced as you make them out to be.

    You are indeed denying Pele’s ability and position as the world’s best ever footballer.

  18. Charles says:

    listen Pele z beta thn Maradona and beta thn any player i know,Messi hs a grt team(both at barcelona and Agertina) his not jst tht good bt moreover Pele z the King

  19. Brad says:

    here’s someone who actually sees the truth.

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