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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. Brad says:

    Peter, some idiots decided to throw the gauntlet down again, and notice all of them are Messi fans, but only one actually gives a good fight. . . if any fight at all.

  2. Pitt says:

    Kondouy mee a Pele…

  3. futbol guru says:

    PELE ERA WAS PETTY, THE PRESSURE A STAR FACES NOW IS WAY WORST THAN WHAT PELE WOULD HAVE EVA GONE TRU IN HIS LIFETIME…. PELE JUST JEALOUS A BRAZILIAN NOT THERE TAKING THE SPOTLIGHT…. MESSI RULZ PELE GET WITH IT….

  4. leke says:

    pele was a combination of lionel messi and cristiano ronaldo.Messi is only Messi.Pele the best ever

  5. Brad says:

    Futbol guru, where’s some facts that Messi is better? And don’t give me pressure nonsense, you don’t need pressure to prove yourself.

  6. samuel says:

    jealouse Pele, go to hell!!!! MESSI is the best ever.HATE HIM OR LOVE HIM, The fact remains.

  7. Idani Churchill says:

    My friend Samuel,let us not b sentimental.Pele have said,messi equal my record.That’s all what he had said.What is then d fuss all about.Whether you like or not,Pele is still d greatest.

  8. Brad says:

    Cool story, samuel, needs more dragons and stuff, along with REAL fact, and not your insufferable opinionated ideas, to support your claim.

  9. Joe says:

    Not on any side in particular but guys common …don’t you think the once great Pele is just too old to be talking tall??? Whence all but now he can do is just sit and watch Messi rise higher and higher. Maybe, maybe… he’s feeling intimidated by such a stellar talent… that be my theory..!

  10. Brad says:

    I’m guessing he was also intimidated by the rise of players like Cruyff, Maradona, Romario, Ronaldo (both of them), and Zidane? The only thing to back your claim is that Messi is doing greater than any of those specific competitors, but he’s not even level with Pele yet, or for that matter, beyond Pele.

  11. emeke says:

    I pray for chelsea officials to visit synagogue church all nations in nigeria,to meet the senior Prophet T.B Joshua for more prayers concerning this champions league final.This is our year to lift this trophy all chelsea fan.

  12. cool dude says:

    Pele is farrrrr too arrogant to be the G.O.A.T.

  13. idris says:

    the thing is pele played at a time when pele was playing football wasnt as hard as it is now, in todays game the footballers have to go gym thye have to have a certian level of fitness. however back in the day the guys were not as good as thye are now physcially and technically. pele also played in league whihc wasnt very challenging, however he did play in the world cups and he had a good team, where as messi plays in one of the hardest leagues in the world and as foe the international thing well messi is not a winger he a free roaming guy, he will go where he likes. and the manager is letting him do that and hes playing great for his country. :) so pele stop being so arrogant ur times is gone messi is one of a kind. hes better than pele

  14. Brad says:

    where’s some facts, Idris, if you please? Even back then, they had to have a lot of fitness.

  15. Kghan says:

    You know, I am really tired of Pele blindness, although I enjoy seeing an old timer trying to bring his past life in the spot light and envious of the those who are NOW in the spot light – forgetting that his game was as running on a highway, no defenders to surround him never mind glued to him and break him down even before he get the ball, Pele dribbled through defenders with at least 1 meter space between them while Messi dribbling through them while they are glued to him leaving them crumbling on the field one after another that you think they bags of cement stacked over each other and still scoring wonder goals – Pele you were great in playing your TIME game OPEN tactics and you get the attention and recognition you deserved then – today you are MOUTH playing the game which is out of your old mind imagination – what recognition are you seeking NOW ? Perhaps, you are excused if you wished that you are playing in such footballing times – if you were playing today, I wonder if you will ever get the chance to run at any player, most likely you will be less than ordinary player who is still in the TRYING phase of his career. Enjoy watching and admiring Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo “although I do not like him but I still enjoy his power play” … Benzima, Xavi, Iniesta, Ruberry, etc etc … So, Pele STOP talking JUNK – remain the respected Pele we know and just enjoy and admire what you see.

  16. pedzzi says:

    i truly respect pele and i feel messi has accomplished some though he still got time in his hands to prove critics.
    but still 1 thing that excites me is that PELE admitted himself if u read between the lines….. am out

  17. Brad says:

    Yes, pedzzi, Pele knows that Messi has a chance to beat him as being the world’s best ever. But thing is, he HASN’T yet. I’m getting tired of the blindness that people like Kghan (who I already know isn’t very likely to answer me) who talk JUNK but don’t give no facts to support their claims that, even though he’s yet to win a WC, let alone his second WC goal, Messi is the best, when PELE STILL IS.

    I can tell you, we throw Messi back in the playing days of Pele, what few defenders there were back then would tear the little guy up without having to worry about getting punished by the ref.

  18. teenage says:

    we also need to look and the modern game and the style of play by other teams. plz pele people will tell u that you are the best just wait and watch messi enjoy what he does the most

  19. aisha says:

    dnt no y pele kips talking about messi d way he does…or is he jealous?aw cn an old man like him kip saying such nonsense…i tot wisdom comes with old age or does it?

  20. RHISTO says:

    PELE I AM GONE TELL YOU SOMETHING SHUT YOUR MOUTH YOU HAVE NEVER KNOW HO HAS GONE BROKE YOUR RECORD YOU HAVE NEVER KNOW ONLY GOD KNOWS THAT YOU ARE NOT GOD PELE.JEALOUSE THAT ARE YOU.PELE YOU DON’T LOVE MESSI I KNOW THAT.YOU LIKE WHEN MESSI SCORE GOALS YOU DON’T LIKE THAT. PELE YOUR TIME IS OVER NOW IS MESSI TIME TO SHINE BIGUP YOU MESSI WE ALL LOVE YOU IS YOUR TIME MESSI IS YOUR TIME

  21. Haokip says:

    Everyone knows that pele is a legend(because he scored more than 1000 goals ….only in the brazillian league where the quality of football is much lower than europe) but he should try to act as a legend and stop projecting himself every time that ‘he is the best footballer to ever lived’…..or maybe he realised that messi is better than him and he feel threatened

  22. Felix The Cat says:

    Messi isn’t the best because he has yet to achieve what Pele has. Sure Messi is a great player who scores a lot of goals but he plays in one of the least competitive leagues in Europe, where two teams always dominate the top and are ahead of the other teams by 20+ points. Sure players now train with better equipment but they also play on better fields. Can Messi score over 1000 goals without a perfect field? I think not. But Pele could and did. So before you get overly emotional and piss yourselfs, all you Messi fans, you should consider the less than desirable conditions that Pele had to play in and the criticism he most likely received at that time for being black. That’s real pressure, not getting paid millions of dollars and than having some dips**t blog about how bad you are and bit***ng about it.

  23. Analyze This says:

    First of all Messi and Pele are one of a kind great players, however Pele has the record and Messi is nowhere close yet. Why would a person who has the record and enjoying his leisurely life as a delegate of soccer be jealous of someone who has nothing to do with him? Next all of you who say soccer wasn’t as competitive then, are you insane? All I have t say about that is, no fancy shoes with pads and grips, no crazy physical therapy and ice baths, no super aerodynamic balls, no perfect fields. If you put Messi with that kinda of equipment his skill would diminish noticeably. Next all the defenders as someone above has mentioned, would break his legs, where no one frowned upon two legged tackles, tackles from behind or taking the player and the ball out at the same time. Please Messi followers, consider that before you insult a man who has evolved soccer into what it is now.

  24. Haokip says:

    La liga is the most competetive league in the world and the proof is…an all spanish europa league final and it could have also been an all spanish cl final if an el clasico was not in between the two legs of the semi-final. And did you see how bilbao outplayed man utd

  25. Haokip says:

    La liga is the most competetive league in the world and the proof is…an all spanish europa league final and it could have also been an all spanish cl final if an el clasico was not in between the two legs of the semi-final. And did you see how bilbao outplayed man utd. It is considered a two team league because barca and madrid are the two best clubs in the world by a long margin. If this two teams are put in any other so called competetive league the result would be the same as in the la liga

  26. ELLIE BOY says:

    You guys goin on abt pele, what about maradona the best player ever who lived to play the game,a guy who not even pele can talk wth,he who got take on 5 guys and still score….ya ya ya he had a drug problm so what he still playd the best soccer……..messi,messi who ?? Ronaldo is the bst plyer off today

  27. ELLIE BOY says:

    If you take messi away from barca hell never play like is doin now at barca because he is surrounded by great players. But luk at christiano from the english now in spain what a player, who scored the most hatricks last season in spain ronaldo who even the record this season messi plz people facts. Facts you cn take christiano to anytime an still play like he always do..

  28. Brad says:

    Thank you, Analyze This, and you, Felix, for real statements not just just the usual crap that people like Haokip put. As if anyone cares about Europa. . . and how can it be competitive when the all spanish final was NOT in La Liga?

    If it weren’t for Pele, Messi would not have such talent. Then again, neither would Zidane, Maradona, Cruyff, Rooney. . . need I go on?

  29. Mardon says:

    Brad, could you expand on your last comment “If it weren’t for Pele, Messi would not have such talent.”
    Were I to read your statement that Messi got supranaturally “inspired” by Pele and his games, I vividly remember reading on this very website about Messi not having watched Pele play.

  30. Haokip says:

    Brad…as far as i’m concerned you are just anti-messi. By the way the best player to have played football at the moment is ronaldo(brazillian)

  31. Brad says:

    Mardon, you get the idea. . . that is, if you bothered to read the rest of the comment. I’m sure Messi has seen Zidane, and Maradona, and Rooney. . . and I’m sure all of these before mentioned players have been inspired in some form or fashion by Pele, regardless of whether or not they’ve seen him play, live or on Youtube. I personally got inspired just hearing the 3 WC, which no one else has done, as well as the 1,280+ goals in, I believe 1,363 matches. Sorry for any misunderstandments there, Mardon.

    And I’m also sure that Ronaldo has also been inspired in some form or fashion by Pele, too. . .

    Ellie boy, is that what it has come to? To just brush aside the fact that someone did performance enhancing drugs? As an American, hearing about drugs is very common place in our sports of American football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. It SICKENS me. That’s why I hate ALL drug abusing athletes. No doubt, Maradona was very talented, but the drugs brings him down in my rankings.

    Haokip, exactly how many times do I have to stress this, too? I’m NOT, I repeat, NOT, anti-Messi. This is my personal belief, that I’d like everyone else to see the sense behind, and respect, if not take on, about the next Maradona: he’s the best player in the world, right now, but he has yet to attain the title of the best player EVER. That crown still belongs to Pele.

    But how would I love to see Messi overtake Pele. . . that way I can tell my grandparents that I was alive to see the best ever player. . . I’d just love it!

  32. Brad says:

    Also, Mardon, another thought just occurred to me. . .

    we need truly talented players to help advance the game, right? We need someone to rise up and raise the bar for the rest of us, am I wrong? Well, there was Di Stefano, and Puskas, and Stanley Matthews, and Tom Finney. Then there was Pele and Garrincha, and Didi. George Best. Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, Diego Maradona. Romario, Ronaldo. Zidane. Beckham.

    Players like these, in some way, rose up and gained world recognition for their talents, and were considered in their prime to be either the best or at least one of the best. They’ve served as inspiration to younger players, from 4 year olds to their more youthful peers in the professional game. They’re all heroes. They’ve all inspired us in some way. Do we really, absolutely, must have to actually see the player in question in order to be inspired by them? I think not, but that’s my opinion on that matter; what’s yours?

    oh HA! I just saw a mistake in my previous comment: I meant to say “grandchildren”, not “grandparents!” LOL!!!!

  33. Analyze This says:

    Seriously guys and gals, you can have and voice your opinions about the players, but why must you make personal attacks and insult the players (in particular immature Messi fans). Those of you who have said Pele is garbage and jealous, what have you achieved that gives you the privilege to say that?

    Also thanks Brad, drugs in sports is a disgrace, I don’t like Maradona for that reason.

    And Ellie Boy I would totally agree with you that the best player right now is C. Ronaldo. Messi cannot perform without Barca just look at his international form.

  34. Oybek says:

    Mr Analyze This,
    “Seriously guys and gals, you can have and voice your opinions about the players, but why must you make personal attacks and insult the players (in particular immature Messi fans)”

    Should I read your statement above that it is ok to insult football fans? If you claim to be objective, at least try to do that! Your insulting Messi fans and favoring CR7 vividly suggest that you are antibarca. So you trying to defend the veteran Pele is your implicit way of attacking Barca and Messi. You probably never care about Pele.

    Messi’s relatively unsuccessful international form cannot be basis for you claiming he is inferior to CR7. What has CR7 achieved as a part of Portugal that makes him egual in all fronts? Football is a team sport and everyone’s success largely depends on the team they are in. Or do you dare to claim that CR7 would have scored his goals without the likes of Ozil, Marcelo and Benzema? So many football fans must have a good reason to compare Messi with the likes of Pele and Maradona, true legends in the history of the game. What about your little CR7? He is way too out of the league of the greatest ever and should be fortunate to be compared to Messi from time to time thanks to the courtesy of Special No One’s constant endavors to talk him up virtually everytime he talks to media and commercial and opportunistic media’s compelled tend towards him.

  35. Brad says:

    It is Pele’s international career we should be comparing Messi’s to. Not Ronaldo, has he has had the same amount of silverware for country as Messi has: none.

  36. pacman says:

    pele is so damn great when he play for prison team along with sly..can messi do that..?NO..messi just suck..!

  37. Brad says:

    That right there was way too far, pacman. Messi’s the best in the world right now. But he’s not the best all time. Pele is. But that doesn’t mean that Messi sucks.

  38. Irnes says:

    If messi played in the Brazilian League, he would score 80-90 goals per season. He would have 500 by now, and he would break his record easily by the time hes 32. Pele was afraid to play in Europe!!

  39. Steven says:

    Pele never did it in the Champions League so cant be considered one of the world’s best.

  40. Haokip says:

    You are right irnes…..just see how barca had beaten sao paolo 5-0 in the club wc last time

  41. OLA nyc says:

    Messi can never be Pele because Messi does not have Garrincha to carry him to glory he will later claim all to himself!

  42. Brad says:

    Okay, Irnes, you think that Pele was afraid? Maybe, maybe not, but even if he did want to (which he probably did, he attracted a lot of interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid) Pele never would’ve been able to:

    Brazil named him a “national treasure”. This barred Pele from leaving Brazil.

    And the Club World Cup thing, Haokip. I don’t know if you noticed or not, but that was Neymar, not Pele.

    About the Brazilian League, I’d say that Messi would be able to score that many goals today, but imagine putting him in Pele’s day (I know this is a “what if?” scenario, but it’d make sense). Of course, defense would not be so tight, but the defenders that existed then were given an incredible amount of license to perform knee surgery upon any opponent who dared step onto the field. It’s amazing that Pele didn’t get a career-ending injury, so it’d be amazing if Messi didn’t either.

  43. bblawal says:

    look at what ds old monkey is sayn, didn u look at messi record wt ds small age of him. he is not d same wt u. messi is world number one in history.

  44. Haokip says:

    Say what you like pele you are not even better than maradona

  45. Brad says:

    bblawal, how can he be the best in history if Pele had two World Championships by the time he was the age Messi is now?

    Say what you like, even Messi isn’t even better than Maradona. So that means Messi can’t even be equal to Pele.

    Where’s someone who doesn’t give us the same arguments, and still no facts?

  46. KazWorld says:

    YES Messi is the best but not the best ever aka (greatest). I will always say a complite player should perform good both at club-level and internatinal-level.
    Nevertheless Messi and Ronaldo still have a chace to be the greatest… but as it stands.

    1. Maradona
    2. Pele
    3. Zidane
    4. Messi
    5. C.Ronaldo

    Brad & Cluod are talking with convincing points, some of you are just taliking from without…

  47. Haokip says:

    Did i ever say that pele played in that club wc final. I was just making a point in order to compare the level of football between europe and brazil to show you that messi would score twice as much if he play in brazil

  48. Brad says:

    But that’s a “what if?” idea, Haokip, something you seem very good at, and what I personally don’t like going into myself. Take Messi, by himself, and put him in Brazil league, and his goal scoring records will go up, but the twice as much part will require having Xavi and Iniesta with him, I’d say. After all, they’ve done a lot to help him score the number of goals he has with Barca.

    For the record, I knew you were making a point about the level of football TODAY. but what about back then? Defense, as I’ve said earlier, wasn’t as vital back then, particularly in South America, but even in the Latin nations, what defenders that actually existed were given the freedom to hack the opposing side’s star player into pieces. Messi would take just as much, if not worse, of a battering as Pele did.

    Now back to the real deal, and not stupid ‘what if”s. . .

    In Pele’s day, Santos was for a time the best club in the world, and Pele was the best player of the time (AND OF COURSE ALL TIME). They won not 1 but 2 Club World Cups, and I believe both came before Pele turned 24, just like with the actual World Championships.

    Likewise, today, Barca is the best club in the world, with Messi as the best player in the world today (but NOT BEST ALL TIME. . at least not yet). Messi has won 2 Club World Cups by age 24, but he has failed to even get past the quarterfinals of the World Cup knockout stages, let alone win the World Cup.

    So there, Messi has still fallen short of Pele.

    Pele and Maradona both performed at both club and international level. Messi still hasn’t performed meaningfully at international level.

  49. Mardon says:

    Brad,

    Couldn’t it be that Pele was aslo lucky to have players like Xavi and Iniesta in his team both club and national? Why would you keep attributing their successes solely to Pele?

    Considering that back then football was not as commercialized as it is today, Pele and his national team may have been lucky not to have to compete against teams form europe that were not as full of world class players as they are today.

    It may be that Argentina was not able to prirotize their team’s success in different cups over the past years thanks to their economic problems. Why would you expect Messi to be responsible for the failure of the whole national team?

  50. Haokip says:

    All of you pele fans have constantly credited messi’s success on xavi,iniesta etc..but fail to mention that pele was also surrounded by players like garrincha,didi,zagallo,nilton santos etc…and without all these players pele would not have achieve anything

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