Pele has just added fuel to the discussion as to who was better between him and Diego Maradona. He declared that Maradona was not the best player in Argentina's history. He also expressed surprise that clubs still offer Maradona jobs, knowing his controversial reputation.
Pele also added that "it is difficult for Argentina to find a comparison with Pele since they themselves have been unable to determine who is the best in Argentina". He invited Argentina to determine their country's best before making comparisons.
The declarations were made during an interview when a journalist asked the question whether Maradona was a good example for children.
The world has discussed Pele v. Maradona many times, including a recent round table discussion initiated by Bleacher Report writer, Saura Bhattacharjee, on September 16, 2010. I had the pleasure and honor of being invited to participate in the discussion.
In the round table discussion, as well as my articles, I found that Pele defeats Maradona hands down. My reason is that Pele is ta complete player, on and off the field.
Pele is cool, calm and collected, as well as personable. He dedicated his 1000th goal to the poor people of Brazil and has cooperated with organizations such as UNESCO to help his homeland. He was rewarded for his efforts with the 2005 BBC Personality of the Year Award.
Diego Armando Maradona started off with good intentions, but it appeared he did not know how to handle the spotlight. He fell into drugs and arrogance. He also dared to proclaim himself a God and start a church.
He also insulted Lionel Messi after calling him "my heir".
Maradona discredited Argentina with his defeat in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and asked his country's President to restore him as coach. In spite of a brief reappearance in memory of ex football player Fernando Caceres, Maradona received a 90% rejection rate by his fellow citizens as coach.
What more can be said about the two except that soccer has two exact opposites. Pele is the symbol of greatness, while Maradona has become a tragic clown who cannot handle his own success.