When asked by Folha de Sao Paulo if he agrees with some people’s opinion that Messi is the best player in history, Pele said the forward only has “one skill.”
“How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn’t head the ball well?” Pele said, according to a translation of Folha de Sao Paulo. “How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers.”
Pele went on to put Maradona over Messi on his list of all-time best players.
“As far as I’m concerned, Maradona was one of the best players ever,” he said. “If you ask me, ‘Was he better than Messi?’ Yes, he was. Much better. [Franz] Beckenbauer, [John] Cruyff were also excellent players.”
Pele tallied over 1,000 career goals and won three World Cups, but it doesn’t mean that Messi shouldn’t be compared to him.
Messi has recorded an impressive 567 club goals and 221 assists in 653 appearances and an additional 65 goals and 40 assists in 128 matches for Argentina. The 31-year-old also has won the Ballon d’Or five times, in addition to nine La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.