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Pele vs. Lionel Messi: Football Legend Pele Says Messi Hasn't Quite Got It Yet

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 26:  Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina reacts after a failed scoring attempt during the first half of a friendly match against the United States at New Meadowlands Stadium on March 26, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Devil in a New DressSenior Writer IJuly 29, 2011

Footballing legend Pele has come out to say that Barcelona and Argentina's forward Lionel Messi is not as good as he was. Adding insult—or perhaps it's merely the truth—to injury, Pele added that he hopes Brazilian starlet Neymar doesn't become anything like Messi.

After watching his former club Santos capture the Copa Libertadores, the Brazilian World Cup winner was asked whether he thought Messi was at a similar level to him. He answered:

Messi better than Pele? To get there, he needs to score more than 1,283 goals.

Fair enough. Good point there.

Pele, whose career lasted over 20 years, amassed 1,283 goals throughout his career for Santos (1956-74), New York Cosmos (1975-77) and Brazil. Messi, who recently turned 24, has scored 197 senior goals for Barcelona and Argentina.

The latest Brazil star, Neymar, scored in Santos' win in the Libertadores final and has been heavily linked with European giants Real Madrid and Chelsea. When asked of general thoughts about Neymar, Pele took the opportunity to have another swipe at Messi.

Neymar has great talent. I hope Neymar doesn’t end up like Messi, who plays so well for his club but does nothing for his country.

Fair point.

In an interview with CNN conducted earlier this year, Pele spoke about how he rated his achievements.

Nobody did what Pele did. Being champion of the world at 17 years old, won three World Cups, scored more than 1,208 goals - only him! Then until now, nobody did this... to me, Pele is the best.

What do you think? Do you agree with Pele?

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