It appears as though Brazilian great Pelé isn’t the biggest fan of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The legendary striker and three-time World Cup winner hit out at comparisons between himself and Messi claiming that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner only has “one skill” and that he was a much better all-around player than the Argentine.
“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?” Pelé told 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.”
Pelé, who appears to bizarrely refer to himself in the third person, was not finished with his attack on Messi and also added that he believes Maradona was a much better player than the Barcelona forward.
“As far as I’m concerned, Maradona was one of the best players ever. If you ask me, ‘Was he better than Messi?’ Yes, he was. Much better. [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff were also excellent players.”
Pelé’s comments are unusual considering the countless individual records Messi has broken in his glittering career so far, which has included a record-equalling five Ballon d’Or’s, 91 goals in a single year in 2012 and 392 goals in La Liga – the most in the league’s history.
Aside from his dig at Messi, Pelé also spoke about Neymar and explained that it is “difficult to defend” some of his actions on the football field.
‘It’s difficult to defend Neymar for all the things he does besides playing football. I spoke with him and reminded him of his ability,” said Pelé.
“He was unlucky because Brazil did not win the World Cup and he was singled out.
“I’ve been with him in Europe twice. We talked and I explained: ‘The God of football gave you the gift. What you do complicates it.’”