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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:

    It always is a shame to see such talented players fail to win silverware, regardless of their nationality and who they play for, or even what kind of attitude they have (like Balotelli).

    the problem is, if Messi wins so much as a Copa America, forget the Confederations Cup and World Cup, many Messi fans are just gonna brag about it and say stuff like “that beats all 3 of Pele’s World Cups.” Yeah, right, 1 CA to 3 WCs. Ridiculous.

  2. Lalhaokip says:

    Messi is the best……..!!!!!!!!!

  3. Brad says:

    how about some facts to prove it?

  4. ebenezer says:

    messi always messi even marodona have declare dat messi all de best no messi no argentine no messi no barca

  5. Donchymax says:

    Pele always make me believe that He is a fool by his cliams after all he was not the most important player in the brazilian team that won 3 world cup he played in never is he mentioned in those world cups as a top scorrer and no golden boot winner in any of them if he was so important to the team he should have been the captain of the team which shows how minor he is to the team

  6. pure24 says:

    At ebenezer, no messi no argentine no barca? Seriously? Was this club and Argentina made for Messi… has barca never been great? and Argentina had seen far greater success b4 Messi arrived.
    Its rily shallow to think that only a top goal scorer or captain contributes to a TEAM’s success Donchymax – then again, you think Messi is THE GREATEST EVER…

  7. jack says:

    pele isnot see true for leo messi . messi is bad phantom for pele .

  8. Luemer Nnah says:

    their is no equality between Pele n Messi, the margin is too much. Change barca formation and see if Messi can play again. Wat about his national mess.

  9. night onman says:

    Lionel Messi (lion no mercy)has surpassed all he is the best footballer of all times.He is a threat to Pele”s records.He is setting a bigger unbreakable all time record.

  10. Brad says:

    Donchymax, he’s scored 12 goals in 13 WC matches, along with the Golden Ball (for best PLAYER, not necessarily goalscorer) in 1970, and was always the crown jewel on a superstar laden team, much like how Messi is for Barca today. However,Messi has 1 goal in about 8 games. Not impressive. In fact, he didn’t get a single goal in South Africa.

  11. pure24 says:

    At night onman exactly HOW has Messi surpassed all?

  12. Ahmed says:

    Messi is a very good player bt I will accept he’s genius if messi change club nd still perform like CR7,CR7 from Man U to Madrid still counting

  13. Tshepo Moagi says:

    why changing the club? thats rediculous….messi is good! its the club that makes him to be the best! it doesn’t need you to change a club to be the best!

  14. Abe says:

    The problem is that Pele is jealous of Messi. There are no comparisons about both of them. We watched Pele in old fashion TV and we watched Messi in HD/3D. Pele should have understood that Messi is going to break his record soon. Just be patient old style! Bye bye!

  15. Shady says:

    Pele brags too much and it is very immature of him to do that.
    The time of Pele & the time of Messi are totally different. Soccer is harder now, it’s way harder than before and Pele is comparing himself to Messi who is just about 25 and yet breaks records every season.
    Pele played in that weak Brazilian league and other weak American clubs while Messi plays in Europe which is very difficult. As far as I’m concerened, Neymar had better learn from Messi than Pele if he wants to cope with the soccer of this generation

  16. Bah says:

    Pele is jealous of everyone.. silly old man.

  17. Brad says:

    How can you be jealous of someone, when you’re still better than them? Particularly for your country, at the World Cup, where it matters most? Granted, Messi’s career isn’t over, he still has a chance to overtake Pele. But he is not there yet. So you can’t say Messi is already better than Pele, because you have no facts to prove your claim, and that’s because Messi doesn’t have the national team resume that Pele does.

    End of.

  18. Dread says:

    pele, u were lucky to have better players like Jarzinho around u. Brazil won the world cup not pele. only Maradona won the world cup single handedly with some average Argentinians around him. remember. came the end of his playing career no world cup. Brazil have won with & without u. u were just another speedstar with a bit of skill.

  19. Brad says:

    HA! You actually made me laugh at that, Dread. Yet another stupid comment. Argentina won the WC before Maradona played in one, for starters.

    Another thing, Messi is lucky to have teammates like Xavi around him, Dread. Jairzinho wasn’t better than Pele, and Messi isn’t better than Pele either. Just as Brazil wouldn’t have won the World Cup without the combination of Pele with Garrincha, Jairzinho, and Didi, the same is for Barca: if they didn’t have the combination of Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta, than their pedigree wouldn’t be as great.

    You’ll never win this, none of you. All you can do is insult Pele and downgrade the achievements he has that Messi hasn’t. You sound like 10 year olds. Open your eyes, and you shall see that, as great as Messi is, PELE is still the greatest footballer to ever play the game.

  20. Brad says:

    Of course, Shady will attack the club level that Pele played in. Remember, that actually isn’t Pele’s fault. His own government declared him a national treasure and banned him from transferring to a foreign team until after he retired from national duty. If it weren’t so, Pele would have played for the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, or Barca.

    Another thing, soccer is harder because, in part, of Pele. Great players come along and help change the game. Seeing as Pele is the best ever, of course he would help change the game and make it harder.

  21. cloud says:

    .. brad, some people are just short-sighted, they only think the NOW and not the whole achievement of a player.

    .. as you’ve said, PELE IS A NATIONAL TREASURE IN BRAZIL. That is very big recognition, not even Micheal Jordan nor Schumi nor any other athlete has became a national treasure. People just can’t recognized to how big that sh*t is.

    .. a maradona vs pele would be better coz they both are gods. But a messi vs pele ?? Waste of time, it’s like a fly versus an elephant.

  22. Brad says:

    I don’t know about fly, that seems too harsh. But you’re right, they’re too short sighted.

  23. Socrates says:

    Messi will make his own history I have no doubt about that. Whether he will sit at the throne wth Pele and Maradona is very doubtful as he is not good enough. It’s that simple. People are very short sighted when it comes to football skills, as if there were no skillful players until Messi or Ronaldo arrived. Utter bollocks. I hate to break some of your delusion here but there has always been great technically gifted players, in fact better than today’s players. If anyone is doubting this claim try playing on muddy uneven pitches, wearing hard leather boots and cotton shirts that soak up not just sweat but rain water? Try kicking or heading a hard leather football whilst at the same time avoiding tackles that can be seen as assault in today’s rules? The number one defense for Messi and players today is that they are fitter, stronger and faster with all the technology etc. Whilst I agree with that don’t you think if Pele and Maradona was playing today they will also have the benefit of the technology etc?

  24. anthony says:

    Pele needs to stop talking and be a man. How can you guys say that messi can not lay without barca formation. His country does not play same formation as barca. Messi does different job for the national team more like play maker for the national team. If someone is good people need to stop hating cause I no if messi plays for United or Madrid, It will be different case. So everyone that don’t like messi. Fuck Pele i used to respect him but he needs to understand that messi is very young when he broke most records. Every time messi plays, he brakes record Pele is scared that once his record is about to be broken if not now Messi will do it soon.

  25. Brad says:

    Thank you, Socrates. I admit, I never thought of that side of the game.

    Anthony, give us something besides excuses about Argentina being different from Barca. If Messi were truly the greatest ever, that would be absolutely no problem.

  26. Ofudje fergusson says:

    Pele is a fool, his just bein jealous of d great lion. All is record will b broken ssooooooon. Let him just sit and watch has his record his been broken.haaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaa,stupid old fool.

  27. Brad says:

    You think he’s stupid? with that comment, I must say, I’m surprised you even think at all. Forgive me, but I’m being frank about it.

  28. Segsee says:

    Pele stil d best player ever but messi is anoda best player ever so why argue

  29. Ofudje fergusson says:

    If he think he his not y must he b comparin himself with young messi who dnt even care?

  30. Vicran says:

    We need to end this now.Its high time we stoppedWe need to end this now.Its high time we stopped belabouring this topic before we sound like broken records and boring.Why not pay attention to an urgent&crucial issue of global import like the better between Obama&Romney,irrespective of the result tmoro?Don’t say its not a sports issue.Few fans follow issues bothering on their idols with objectivity.Not with the viewers on this site.Its been almost a year!One who called himself Fence or fencer wasted time heaping an amount of insults i’ve never read nor seen,on Pele.Now people know that Pele was better with his legs than his mouth.Infact i find it shockingly-condescending that he is making comparisons between himself and messi-not even maradonna!Fifa,officials and coaches the world over who watched Pele, voted him the greatest ever.The younger generation who saw maradonna voted him the best.Now the new argument is on messi.If you want to be truly objective,you need to watch the clips of the three players.I have watched it.Time magazine in their ‘greatest people of the last century’ edition recognized Pele as the greatest ever soccer player.Now your view might be better than the submission of Fifa,officials and Time magazine,but if we dont accept the facts and figures,should we rather take personal opinions?Brad&co have worked this hard this long because they have the time,resource and patience to keep correcting these poor views that keep getting recycled.A man with information will never be defeated by one with mere argument.It is an information that Pele never won a Copa America because during his era,the south american soccer governing body had problems and the tourney was not held over a long time.No amount of argument can truly change this fact.In the same way,no argument will tilt the facts in messi’s favour.Make research or watch the clips.But why wont people leave Pele with his weakness and let messi concentrate so he can keep giving his best,then we judge when he finishes?If Pele was playing a distracting game,messi’s fans are falling for it and helping to pull their idol down.But some will not listen after this text.Brad&co,time for the next issue.Peharphs mine is not bad.You’ve done justice to this one.

  31. Brad says:

    Thank you, Vicran, I love how you played that out, very, very much.

  32. pinson says:

    if you say MESSI and CR7 are the best football ever had,why not check the likes of PELE,MARADONA,CRYUFF,ZIDANE,DE LIMA RONALDO,RIVALDO,NEDVED,RIVALDO,PLATINI and you’ll be amazed.Football nowadays is guided by too much rules unlike in those days when we ve defendes likes STAM,SAMPAIO,ALBERTINI,REDONDO and the likes.

    Now we ve last man rules,no celebration with fans,no kicking behind and the likes,

    Come to think of it,do you think MESSI and CR7 can survive the italian league of 1995 – 2000

    Be frank about it.

  33. Socrates says:

    A very good point pinson. Whether he could have withstood the kind of battering and kicking Pele and Maradona endured throughout their playing career remains to be seen. One famous quote from Platini when Maradona scored perhaps the greatest goal in a competition against England in the 1986 World Cup Quarter Finals: “If he had made that run in Italy he would have ended up in hospital” He was off course referring to the sometimes cynical tactics that was often used at that time in Italian football. Off course I’m not advocating deliberately taking a player out but instead expose a skill that is missing in both football players and managers today. I am off course referring to tactics or to be more specific: tactical innovation. Much of Messi’s current success in my opinion is down to Guardiolas foresight in allowing him a freer role than he had under Frank Rijkaard. He’s goal scoring rate and number of assists are testimony to that, as they are off the chart at the moment. Off course playing someone in a free role isn’t new but what is quite noticeable in the modern game is the absent of any tactical response from opposition managers to Messi and Barcelona’s tactics. In the past managers would respond to players in a free role by implementing a man marker or change the formation and tactics to respond or try to outwit the opposition team. This kind of tit-for-tat play resulted in some innovative football created like the 1970’s Dutch team or the Ajax team of the 1990’s or the German sweeper system. Nowadays managers all over put out the same 4-3-3 formation, their only response to the opposition and their only tactical reaction is sometimes going from a 4-3-3 to a 4-5-1 or 4-4-2. You’ll be hard pushed to come across another manager who is willing to put out a different formation. Which is why it is so refreshing, when you do come across someone who does. With the exception of Jose Mourinho, Marcelo Bielsa (currently manages Athletic Bilbao) is a manager that really excites me at the moment. The 3-3-1-3 formation he put out in the World Cup was so refreshing to see. I don’t know why that is, whether it is due to the rule changes or maybe there is more pressure in the game or perhaps managers today are not as knowledgeable in football tactics as they once were. Whatever the reason the lack of any tactical reaction has allowed Messi to drift in-between players unchallenged and coupled with his exceptional technical ability (close ball control, dribbling skills, vision and intelligence) and good players around him like Xavi, Fabrigas and Iniesta who can find him, a player like that can do a lot of damage and he does. God knows what else or how much more Maradona and Pele could have achieved without the attention of a man marker. Not that – they haven’t achieved anything off course- which speaks volumes of the their abilities.

  34. Baraka msombai ssack says:

    Indeed MESSI will broke all recods,coz records was kept 2 be broken.pele is jealous with MESSI’s superble.

  35. Vicran says:

    Baraka,if u want to post something that might offend people,try at least to do it in readable english

  36. Brad says:

    Exactly, Vicran. I’m gonna go ahead and tell you these people who are Messi fans don’t really give much of a fight except to belittle and insult Pele and the achievements he has, such as 3 World Cup medals.

  37. Amaka says:

    @ Ahmed,why are u guys always sooooo concerned about messi leaving barca to other clubs,did other clubs do what barca did for him? Barca picked him up when he was nobody and now God has blessed him all of u want him to leave,leave to where?

  38. Oybek says:

    Mr.Pele, your nightmare is Messi and that’s why you keep belittling him all the time. Just be around, you gonna “talk” to Messi soon, sooner than you expect! One of your records is all “gone”, for instance.

  39. Brad says:

    Yeah, you would talk since you always belittle Pele! But, while Messi is the best footballer in the world right now, Pele is still the best ever, and you can’t deny it at all.

  40. Ss Estawul says:

    If the FIFA president and other footballers legent are not jealous, Messi deserves the best!

  41. A-z says:

    as for me,I think pele is on jealous of ds super dude,he should leave d boy alone and let him concentrate ,ao many countries were playing world cup during his era?pele is a big fool,messi is just 25 and he has had all ds achievements,and he’s still not stoping,cos I c a brighter future ahead of him….so mr pele or wateva u call urself,go to hell

  42. Brad says:

    You call him a fool, and prove to be a fool yourself with that comment. Once again, no facts, nothing to support what you say. Seriously wonder why I’m bothering to reply.

  43. PT says:

    Although Pele can be boistrous at times he is absolutely correct. He is the man! No other player whether you like him or not is the yardstick everyone is measured. It is simply like this Michael Jordan, Ali,Senna,Sampras, Payton, Aaron and Woods only come around once in a lifetime. As for it was easier playing futbol back in the day…Have you seen the highlights of players trying to break the legs of Pele when he got the ball. If measured by todays rules they would have faced lenghty bans and criminal prosecution.

  44. me says:

    If messi should win the ballon do’r for the fourth time in a row, then pele need to go back to play football so as to claim that record before he can be better than messi.

  45. MESSI IS SIMPLY THE BEST, SO PELE SHOULD KEEP QUIET.

  46. Cortez says:

    Lionel Messi is the Greatest Footballer Ever! Prove that Messi Better than Pele.. Pele record scorer in a calendar 75 Goal, Messi 84 ( 5 Match left ), Gerd Muller 85, will be surpass by Messi in 5 Match game left!!! Messi have 3 Ballon d’or, like M.Plattini,Johan Cruff! All Legend footballer Messi have Beaten!! at 25 years only! Soon Messi will broken all record.. n Get More Ballon d’or!!!

  47. Cortez says:

    Pele won 3 WC? 1282 gol? only this? sory Brazil won the cup not pele itself.. dont get the name won WC by your name only.. your individual record only 1282 gol.. so keep watching..messi still young, 25 years, there have 10 year ++ above left.. Messi already broke your record 75 gol in one year calender by 84 gols.. to Compare Individual who greater, so compare individual accivement not country achivement..

  48. snake says:

    pele is the greatest of all time but messi can also match peles record in time to come or might not

  49. Big Benzo says:

    Gùys let b sensible ,if messi claims he is d best let him save argentina from their strategies, immaging world cup, d whole best player cannot even score a single goal.Atleast Ronaldo took his team to semi final,okocha help teams like boltön,sunderland,stock city to premier wat achievement has messi done to his country.all am saying is messi cannot do without xavi and iniesta.

  50. Brad says:

    Cortez, records are made to be broken. but it is proof that the 3 WC’s that Pele helped Brazil win, that is a single player achievement that won’t be beat by Messi. Unless Argentina were to win the next 3 WCs, that is. but we all know just how hard it is to win one, let alone 2, in a row. And Messi’s already played in 2 WCs. Not a whole lot of people have played in 5, and even the greats normally don’t themselves.

    He can win all the Ballon d’Ors he wants, until he gets his hands on that World Cup 3 times in his career, Messi can never hope to kick Pele off his throne as the greatest footballer ever.

    Go home Cortez. You’ve lost like all the other Messi fans.

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