O Rei Pelé has spoken, and has done so clearly. During a press conference in Calcutta, India, the Brazilian legend stated that according to him, Lionel Messi is the best player of the last decade.
“Many people compare Messi with [Cristiano] Ronaldo, but they are very different players. Both are fantastic.” The 74-year-old former soccer player also made it clear that he has no intention of running for the FIFA presidency.
Although the man who many consider the best player to have ever touched a soccer ball has put in his two cents about the extended debate of whether Messi or CR7 is better, his words definitely don’t put an end to the argument, especially if you consider what Pelé has said in the past.
Earlier this year, Pelé stated that he believed Messi’s time as the best player in the world had passed and that Cristiano Ronaldo should be considered the best at the moment.
In 2011, days before Barcelona’s game against Brazilian club Santos for the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup final, O Rei stated that Neymar was better individually than Messi.
He later reaffirmed the statement by saying Messi had to be better than Neymar before the Argentine could be compared to him (Pelé).
Does this mean Pelé is a wishy-washy hypocrite? I don’t think so – it just goes to show how difficult is to pick only one of these amazing players as the best.
Hopefully even a few more players can further exploit their God-given talent and join the competition for the title of best soccer player on the planet. Better players mean better games, and I’m down for that.