Pelé slammed Lionel Messi recently after claiming that the Barcelona star “only has one skill.”
The 78-year-old Brazilian didn’t hold back in his criticism of the 31-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner, believing that both he and Argentine legend Diego Maradona are better than him.
“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?” he told Folha de São Paulo.
“How can you compare? To compare with Pelé, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers.
“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.”
As expected, his verdict on the Argentine magician hasn’t been received well by everyone.
One Barça fan has produced a brilliant Twitter thread called ‘Pelé: the biggest fraud in football history,’ with no expenses spared with the detail.
Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and check out the thread below.
Pele: the biggest fraud in football history. -A THREAD- pic.twitter.com/buTDNPUjxv— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
First of all Pele didn't score 1283 goals, 526 of those goals came in unofficial friendlies and tour games. He even counted games he played for the Sixth Coast Guard in the military competition. He officially only scored 757 goals in 812 games still pretty impressive right? NOT pic.twitter.com/4AmEdFVrbk— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Why? Because If you look at the score sheet you will notice how skewed some of these scores are in games that Pele scored more than 3 goals. You can see his team dominating their opponents with scores like 11-0. pic.twitter.com/P7N6R5IG46— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
If you look at the clubs they are against you will probably notice Nacional, Juventus and Botafogo but those aren't the actual club giants from Uruguay or Italy, they are clubs with the same name that played in Campeonato Paulista a local regional tournament.— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Before 1971 Santos played in Campeonato Paulista a regional tournament, as the OFFICIAL Brazilian national league didn't exist yet. 470 of Pele's goals came against weak and pathetic opposition in a local competition. pic.twitter.com/tldJKreAX2— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
When he actually played in the genuine top flight competition for Santos he managed to score just 34 goals in 84 games with a strike rate of just 0.4 goals per game which is horrendous. Pele is closer to Giroud than he is to Messi who btw had a strike rate of 0.44 at arsenal 🤭🤐 pic.twitter.com/TCNk1s5guE— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Most WC goals – Klose, 16— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
for Brazil – Ronaldo, 15
Most all-star team appearances – Lahm & Beckenbauer, 3
for Brazil – Djalma Santos, 3
Most goals in a single WC campaign – Fontaine 13 (1958)
for Brazil – Ademir & Ronaldo, 8 (1950/2002)
Most WC wins – Cafu, 16
Where is Pele? pic.twitter.com/HvZfxt052t
Pele was outperformed or outscored in every single world cup he has played— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Just Fontaine 13 goals | Pele 6 goals
Six players tied for 4 goals | Pele 1 goal
Eusébio 9 goals | Pele 1 goal
Gerd Müller 10 goals | Pele 4 goals pic.twitter.com/CsAH8rRlVq
In fact, when Brazil won 3 world cups from 1958 to 1970 Pele was their topscorer just once (1958) and won only one goldenball (1970). Didi won the golden ball in 1958 and Garrincha in 1962 who carried the Brazilian NT on his back when Pele was injured pic.twitter.com/IR4MWZaicT— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
people always say how Pele won 3 WCs while Messi won 0 so he must be better but never mention that Pele played with historic teammates (more on that👇) and the best national side in world cup history who were so good they didn't even need Pele in 1962 when Brazil won their 2nd WC pic.twitter.com/bxzqq87bGb— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Onto his teammates, when Pele made a list of 125 greatest footballers in 2004 he didn't include most of his teammates who didn't just help him win 3 world cups but outperformed him too. Pelé shockingly ommited teammates like Garrincha (Inspired Brazil to win the 1962 WC) (1/3) pic.twitter.com/v89e2AzMk1— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Vavá (Scored 3 goals in 2 world cup finals most in WC history) Didi (1958 golden ball winner) Jairzinho (Brazil's top scorer in the 1970 WC) and Gérson who was Pele's Xavi who said this about his exclusion from the list (2/3) pic.twitter.com/ZrnAAX9YqC— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
"I prefer a thousand times over to make the pass, rather than to score a goal." -Gérson said in 1970. Disgraceful from Pele to not include him. meanwhile, Messi dedicated his Ballon d'or to Xavi in 2012: "I want to share this with my friend, he deserves it" pic.twitter.com/b8E4PmctNE— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Victor Moses without Cornrows. this kick and chase merchant had the audacity to say "Messi only has 1 skill"….— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Look at this horrendous defending lol imagine if Messi played against these bums he would score 6 goals every game. Where as if Pele played in today's far more technically advanced game against Defenders like Ramos or Chiellini he would genuinely be worse than Morata & Lukaku pic.twitter.com/e6iiKBiSrx— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018
Credit : Sportbible
This was the 1958 world cup final in which Pele scored 2 goals against Sweden just look at the state of that defending…. Who'd believe this was in a world cup final? imagine saying Pele is the goat for winning this joke of a tournament 😭😭pic.twitter.com/ucBM1Ym8B5— Rudy🦅 (@PCRV22) December 7, 2018