Pele Says Lionel Messi 'Only Has One Skill' and Can't Compare to Him

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2018

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi heads the ball during the Spanish 'Copa del Rey' (King's cup) quarter-final second leg football match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on January 25, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Brazil legend Pele has criticised five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi and accused him of having only "one skill."

The three-time FIFA World Cup winner said the Barcelona superstar cannot be compared to him because Messi isn't able to use both feet effectively and is not good in the air, per Folha de Sao Paulo (h/t the Mirror's Sam Elliott):

"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? 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's is unlikely to be an opinion that many share.

Messi, 31, favours his magical left foot, but he is far from incapable of scoring with his right or his head.

A breakdown of his first 100 European goals provides an insight into where the Argentinian's goals come from:

OptaJose @OptaJose

100 - Lionel Messi has scored his 100th goal in European competition (97 in #UCL, 3 in UEFA Super Cup). Landmark. https://t.co/VqLZuVsLGk

One of those four headed goals was the crucial second in Barcelona's UEFA Champions League final triumph against Manchester United in 2009.

Pele's accusation that Messi has "one skill" is likely to cause the most consternation as the Barca man is, for many, the most complete footballer of all time.

Despite not being a striker, he has netted more goals than any other player in the history of La Liga and is second to Cristiano Ronaldo in the all-time Champions League list.

He is also a conductor and creator, boasting the record for the most assists in La Liga history:

LaLiga @LaLigaEN

1⃣4⃣8⃣ Messi sets a new #LaLiga record for assists! #BarçaGirona https://t.co/O3hEWpmxgG

Pele, 78, is a true legend of the game who is often heralded as one of the best ever and whose opinion is rightly treated with high regard.

In this matter, though, his view is likely to be largely dismissed.


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