The 100 greatest players of all time

Diego Maradona lifts the FIFA World Cup Trophy for Argentina

Towering above: "I seemed to leave everyone else behind," Maradona once said

10. Giuseppe Meazza

Career span 1927-47
Country Italy: 53 caps, 33 goals
Clubs Inter, Milan, Juventus, Varese, Atalanta, Inter
Position inside-right, -left
Medals 2 World Cups, 3 Italian titles, 1 Italian cup

“Having Meazza on the team,” the great Italian manager Vittorio Pozzo once declared, “was like starting the game 1-0 up.”

That was just as well because there’s an easy joke to be made here about Meazza scoring before he even got on the pitch. The striker became famous for going to a brothel the night before games and was often late for training because of his love “for champagne and women”.

Former teammate Peppino Prisco argued that “Meazza was great, unbeatable, even if he would occasionally run into a frightful crisis caused by his intense sexual activity and passion for the game.”

He always got away with it, though, because he had the ability to make up for his errant behaviour. On another occasion, he arrived at the Inter stadium five minutes before kick-off after another hectic night.

“I could hear the directors saying ‘We’ll deal with him after the match’. Luckily, I scored a hat-trick so afterwards no one said a word!”
It was a frequent occurrence. The match-winning goals, that is.

Because, while many of these stories may be apocryphal, the accounts of Meazza’s ability are not. Short and stocky but with a “bullfighter’s grace”, he also possessed outstanding individual technique. At a time when the game was still developing, Meazza’s 21st century dribbling ability proved truly devastating. His speciality was the “goal by invitation” whereby Meazza would draw the keeper out and effortlessly round him. On one occasion in April 1930, he had done this twice to Roma keeper Ballante within the first 20 minutes. So, when it came to the third, the keeper stayed firmly on his line. Meazza still scored. But Ballante loudly celebrated the fact that he wasn’t deceived.

A natural showman, Meazza still combined entertainment with end product. His 31 goals in 33 games delivered Inter the Serie A title in the competition’s inaugural season.

“He was a born striker,” Pozzo enthused. “He could read the game understand situations and make the whole attack work by applying a concept of the game was based entirely on technique.”

It was for that reason that Pozzo positioned him on the wing for the 1934 World Cup. Meazza’s ingenuity would prove influential. Having knocked out Spain in the quarter-finals with the only goal of the game, his through balls would provide the winners in both the semi-final and final.

But Meazza’s annus mirabilis was undoubtedly 1938. Having again won Inter the title with 28 goals in 30 matches, he assumed the captaincy of his country for their World Cup defence. And he performed imperiously, as Pozzo’s team glided to the glory.

Italy became the first team to retain the trophy. And Meazza confirmed his status as football’s finest pre-war player.

Ability 89
International 90
Club 70
Total 83

 

9. Zinedine Zidane

Career span 1988-2006
Country France: 108 caps, 31 goals
Clubs Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid
Position attacking midfielder
Medals 1 World Cup, 1 European Championship, 1 Champions League, 3 domestic titles (2 Italian, 1 Spanish)

Very infrequently, football provides the kind of symmetry that can seem supernatural.

Forty-two years after Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas had produced one of Real Madrid’s – and, indeed, football history’s – finest ever performances in Hampden Park, Zinedine Zidane rose to the same level in the same stadium.

The volley which won the 2002 Champions League final was a decisive moment of the highest possible quality on the highest possible stage. The only way it could actually have been improved was if it came under the highest possible pressure – the last minute. Otherwise, it was a perfect example of transcendental ability.

But, the curiosity of Zidane’s career is that his quality still seemed to require that kind of confirmation. Because, although some of his career had surpassed both Puskas and Di Stefano – particularly the international medals – many other aspects suggested significant inferiority.

In truth, Zidane was never quite consumed by the kind of battle rage that saw many other great player absolutely dominate games on a consistent basis.
Sure, he did have a temper as we saw in the 2006 World Cup final and a series of other red cards. But the fact that they were isolated instances is also representative of the more positive side of his career as a whole.

For the majority of his many games, Zidane was a cool, controlling presence. Astutely, Rob Smyth described him as a “cerebral genius” and “avant-garde footballer”. And, along the same lines, Alex Ferguson once said that Zidane “didn’t hurt teams”. While that could be construed as a criticism, it was likely more a reference to the fact that Zidane would tend to withdraw and dictate teams rather than decide them. As Thierry Henry said, “he is the guy we can always count on, the one who really takes control”.

But the first part of Henry’s sentence is just as important. Because, as in the 2002 final and as with the occasional moments of anger, Zidane would save his most decisive moments for the most demanding occasions: the 1998 World Cup final, the entirety of Euro 2000, the last two minutes of France’s Euro 2004 group game with England, the knock-out rounds of the 2006 World Cup.

In that, he was the ultimate big-game player.

Ability 92
International 80
Club 77
Total 83

 

8. Leo Messi

Career span 2004-
Country Argentina: 63 caps, 18 goals
Clubs Barcelona
Position forward
Medals 3 Champions Leagues, 5 Spanish titles, 1 Spanish cup

Too high, too soon?

Only because of the fact he has too much quality. Without doubt, Messi’s abilities are up there with football’s genuine immortals.

In terms of fundamental technique, there’s probably no purer indication of quality than the capacity to dribble past a player – or a series of them. And very few in football history have done this as effortlessly or as excellently as Messi.

“Once he’s on the run,” Arsene Wenger has said, “Messi is unstoppable. He’s the only player who can change direction at such pace… he takes advantage of every mistake.”

Because, as Wenger also mentioned at the end, even fewer players know how to then use the ball so spectacularly and so often. Over the last few seasons, Messi has provided at least a goal or assist every game. More often than not, he provides both.

It’s the highest rate of productivity since assist records started being collected.

And that’s another key point in Messi’s career. At 24, he’s won more medals than every single one of football’s immortals (ie, the players ahead of him in this list) except Pele at the same age.

And it’s not just about the conquests. It’s about his contribution to them. As barely needs to be repeated, Messi has been the most influential player in one of the greatest teams of all time.

Moreover, Messi has now dominated three Champions League seasons – having already decorated three others – in the manner that Maradona did the 1986 World Cup.
Of course, until Messi comes close to replicating that feat then it seems that there will always be a caveat about his career.

In truth, though, his international has never been as underwhelming as assumed – even if it hasn’t reached the standards of his club career.

In 2007, for example, he was instrumental in Argentina’s run to the Copa America final. A year later, he helped deliver the team to Olympic gold – an achievement with some prestige in South America.

Finally, it’s too often forgotten that Messi was thoroughly dynamic in the first four games of the 2010 World Cup – and that despite the chaotic management of Diego Maradona which eventually lead to the defeat to Germany.

But the ultimate question is, if Messi does eventually have that World Cup, will he be top of such a list?

As the hero of 1986 himself said, “The Maradona and Pele polemics would end.”

Ability 97
International 63
Club 91
Total 83.67

 

7. Ferenc Puskas

Career span 1943-66
Country Hungary: 85 caps, 84 goals; Spain: 4 caps
Clubs Kispest, Budapest Honved, Real Madrid
Position forward
Medals 1 European Cups, 10 domestic titles (5 Spain, 5 Hungary), 1 Spanish cup

“If a good player has the ball,” Hungary’s Jeno Buzansky once said, “he should have the vision to spot three passes. Puskas always saw at least five.”

To a certain degree, outstanding numbers like that defined Puskas’s career. He ended up with an average of a goal every game: 84 in 85 caps for Hungary, 240 in 260 games for Real, 165 in 164 for Honved.

Except it would, of course, do Puskas a huge disservice to reduce his career to mere goals.

In the 1950s, he was the “star of stars” as Brian Glanville wrote. He had “superb control, supreme strategy and above all a left-footed shot which was unrivalled in the world, dangerous from any distance up to 35 yards.”

Like so many genuine greats, Puskas was also a pioneer. So regular has the simple drag-back become now that it seems a routine skill. But, in 1953 when Puskas sent Billy Wright running “like a fire engine going to the wrong fire” – in the immortal words of Geoffrey Green – it seemed revolutionary.

Puskas had the foresight to think of it first. Indeed, as Buzansky insisted, vision was the Hungarian captain’s greatest virtue. Jorge Valdano claimed that Puskas could easily have been a defender if he wanted because his football intelligence would have “obviated the need to make a tackle”.

Instead, Puskas spent most of his career side-stepping challenges – as he illustrated so exquisitely with Wright. The 7-3 win that moment came in the middle of, of course, was one of the high points of Hungary’s sensational 49-game unbeaten run.

And they might well have crowned the sequence had Puskas not got injured against West Germany in the group stage. The big debate before the final was whether he would play. Eventually, Puskas did so with a hairline fracture. But that debate has seemingly never finished as so many involved with the team continued to argue about it for years after it.

In his defence, Puskas did say that – despite his immobility – he still scored and had another potential late equaliser disallowed in highly controversial fashion.

Having already delivered Honved to five titles in the days before the European Cup, however, Puskas would go on to win the international medals he finally deserved at Real Madrid.

And, there, he provided so much more than goals. As well as a divine partnership with Alfredo Di Stefano, he provided one of the game’s great spectacles in 1960.

Ability 88
International 82
Club 83
Total 84.33

 

6. Garrincha

Career span 1953-72
Country Brazil: 50 caps, 12 goals
Clubs Botafogo, Corinthians, Portuguesa Carioca, Atletico Junior, Flamengo, Olaria
Position winger
Medals 2 World Cups, 3 Brazilian state championships

“Remember,” Vicente Feola told his anxious Brazilian team ahead of their crucial 1958 group game against USSR, “the first pass goes to Garrincha.”

Still without a win in the World Cup at that point, the Brazilian squad were somewhat intimidated by their own imperfect history. So now, requiring a win against the USSR, Feola realised the only solution was to face the challenge head on and intimidate the opposition. And he had just the player.

Having initially been dropped from the side for showboating against Austria in a World Cup warm-up, Garrincha’s outrageous technique was enough to unnerve any team. When in the mood – which, at that point, was often – he was simply impossible to play against.

That day, it took Didi 20 seconds to get the ball out to Garrincha. And it took Garrincha just three minutes to destroy the Russians and set the tone for the tournament – as well Brazil’s future.

“Garrincha feinted left and went right,” Jonathan Wilson writes in Inverting the Pyramid,” Boris Kuznetsov was left on the ground. Garrincha passed, and beat him again. And again. And then once again put him on the ground. Garrincha advanced, leaving Yuri Voinov on his backside… and fired a shot from a narrow angle that smacked the post.”

Mel Hopkins, who was left to ‘mark’ Garrincha in Wales’ quarter-final defeat, explained how exactly how he did.

“He was a phenomenon, capable of sheer magic. It was difficult to know which way he was going to because of his legs and because he was as comfortable on his left foot as his right, so he could cut inside or go down the line and he had a ferocious shot too.”

It is highly probable, Wilson argues, that Garrincha would have had to adapt his then unprecedented dribbling style in the modern game. But it’s also undeniable he had the sheer ability to thrive in any era. Indeed, the ability to adapt was one of his greatest attributes – as he proved emphatically in the 1962 World Cup.

With the early injury to Pele, Garrincha altered and elevated his game considerably. Having scored no goals in 1958 as the team’s supplier, he then hit two in the 1962 quarter-final and another brace in the semi as the team’s undoubted talisman. It was unquestionably his tournament.

And 1957 was unquestionably his club year as Garrincha hit 20 goals in 26 games to deliver the state championship for Botafogo.

For all that Garrincha is feted as one of the most important figures in Botafogo’s history, however, it is possible that the sheer difficulty of controlling him in the more day-to-day world of club football meant he didn’t quite have the domestic career he should have.

Ultimately, though, it was his ability to improvise so artistically and anarchically that marked him apart. He may have been likened to jazz musicians and all manner of impresarios. But, in truth, he was utterly unique.

Ability 92
International 90
Club 72
Total 84.67

 

5. Franz Beckenbauer

Career span 1964-82
Country West Germany: 103 caps, 14 goals
Clubs Bayern Munich, New York Cosmos, Hamburg
Position sweeper
Medals 1 World Cup, 1 European Championship, 3 European Cups, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 8 domestic titles (5 Germany, 3 USA), 4 German cups

Dettmar Cramer was going blue in the face. But Helmut Schoen just wouldn’t be moved.

Ahead of the 1966 World Cup final, Cramer – the West Germany assistant manager – insisted that making Franz Beckenbauer mark Bobby Charlton would rob the Germans of most of their creativity.

Cramer was to be proved right. But the debate itself, with Beckenbauer just 20 years old, was testament to his abilities.

And, very soon, he would find a way to combine – and maximise – all of his qualities. Indeed, within four years, he would be effortlessly eclipsing Charlton.
Because, by that point in 1970, Beckenbauer had carefully studied the game of Giacinto Facchetti. He realised that, when playing in defence, he need not be so confined by the traditional interpretations of defence. So, the role of libero was launched. And so was Beckenbauer’s truly elite status.

From that point and that position, the fittingly-nicknamed Kaiser would exert almost unprecedented influence on games. And not just while on the pitch.

In 1974, as a broken Schoen struggled to cope with the new financial demands of the German squad, it was Beckenbauer who stepped in to prevent their World Cup descending into complete chaos. He convinced the rest of the squad to accept an offer and then essentially took over as co-manner.

From there, Uli Hesse wrote in Tor!, “Beckenbauer was in great form and had become the boss both on and off the pitch”.

In the final itself, he took command while Johan Cruyff took effective leave of the pitch. And it marked only the peak of a sensational period for captain, club and country. Beckenbauer was the key influence in two of the greatest sides of all time, as he personally collected a clean sweep of the game’s major honors.

Ability 90
International 82
Club 82
Total 84.67

 

4. Alfredo Di Stefano

Career span 1945-66
Country Argentina: 6 caps, 6 goals; Colombia: 4 caps, 0 goals; Spain: 31 caps, 23 goals
Clubs River Plate (Huracan), Millonarios, Real Madrid, Espanypol
Position forward
Medals 1 Copa America, 5 European Cups, 13 domestic titles (8 Spanish, 3 Colombian, 2 Argentine), 2 domestic cups (1 Spain, 1 Colombia)

To put it quite bluntly, there has simply never been a club career as perfect as Alfredo Di Stefano’s.

Many clubs like to cite the arrival of certain players as key points in their histories. At Manchester United, Eric Cantona’s innovation initiated the current spell of success. At Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish defined a dynasty. At Barcelona, Johan Cruff changed the culture.

But by dint of the fact that Di Stefano effectively combined all of those individual eras, he overshadows every one of them. No-one has had an influence on any one club like the Argentine had on Madrid.

On arriving – somewhat controversially – in 1953, he didn’t just complete a team or claim a first trophy.

His attitude altered the club’s entire ethos. His ability immediately elevated their overall quality. And his consistency created the most spectacular spell of success that club football has ever seen.

As the most elementary example of his influence, Di Stefano scored in all five of the club’s victorious first European Cup finals – culminating perfectly with the hat-trick at Hampden Park. Moreover, he is the competition’s third most prolific scorer after Gerd Muller and Ferenc Puskas.

And that from a player who could never be described as a striker.

But, then, Di Stefano’s emphatically complete club career was in keeping with the exquisitely complete nature of his game.

“I think nothing of popping up at centre-half or full-back,” Di Stefano once said himself. “We are all footballers and as such should be able to perform competently in all 11 positions.”

In effect, he was describing Total Football – a full 15 years before it was thought of. “And has there ever been a footballer so superbly equipped to play it?” Brian Glanville enquired.

“Pointing, shouting, gesturing,” Glanville added, “Di Stefano ran the show – a more or less benevolent despot.”

Bobby Charlton went further. “He’s got the ball all the time. Everything’s happening around him. He takes it off the goalkeeper, the defenders.”

Real teammate Jose Santamaria concurred. “He was the most complete player ever, something I’ve never seen anywhere else. And I’ve seen a lot of players.”

Just as valuable, however, was the influence he had on everyone else. “It was on and off the pitch,” Santamaria continued. “On the pitch because he was everywhere. Off the pitch, because he showed like no-one else how much he loved and respected Real Madrid and he transmitted that respect to all his teammates.”

The most remarkable part of all of this, of course, is that it took place after resoundingly successful periods with River Plate and then Millonarios. Prior to Madrid, he had already enjoyed the kind of career that would put a player in the top 50 of this list. Indeed, with Argentina, he even won a Copa America – indicating his international career wasn’t quite as underwhelming as though.

Ultimately, though, he never appeared in a World Cup. And it is open to debate whether that’s down to poor timing. In the 40s there was no World Cup, and he didn’t declare for Spain until 1957.

There is no denying, however, that he belonged on the stage.

Ability 95
International 63
Club 98
Total 85.67

 

3. Johan Cruyff

Career span 1964-84
Country Holland: 48 caps, 33 goals
Clubs Ajax, Barcelona, LA Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante, Ajax, Feyenoord
Position forward
Medals 3 European Cups, 10 domestic titles (9 Dutch, 1 Spain), 7 domestic cups (6 Dutch, 1 Spain)

While Alfredo Di Stefano may have greatly influenced the entire history of a club, Johan Cruyff helped create an entire football philosophy.

The charismatic Dutchman was not, of course, the originator of Total Football. But, as Ajax assistant manager Bobby Haarms always insisted, “Cruyff had a massive input… you could say it was [Rinus] Michels and Cruyff”.

Primarily, that was through his elementary – but also elevated – on-pitch intelligence. Cruyff’s innate knowledge of where to run and what pass to make essentially set Total Football in motion. As Haarms added, “he could do everything… and with such speed”.

The famous Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, meanwhile, was awe-struck by Cruyff’s movement, proclaiming that both his body and mind were supernaturally swift.
And, even in Ajax’s early, imperfect development, that had a devastating effect. In the 1966-67 European Cup finals, with the team still a long way from the telepathic interchanges of the early ’70s, Cruyff scored twice at Anfield to annihilate Bill Shankly’s Liverpool.

But it was as the young playmaker gradually accumulated such experience and began to talk about, that his career – and Ajax’s unique approach – really accelerated.

Cruyff began to discuss with Michels the finer points of the game, what players worked where, whether others had unseen talents for different positions. Crucially, though, he also applied such thought to his own play. Although Cruyff possessed a similar level of sublime raw talent as Pele and Diego Maradona, he seemed to use his more calculatingly. Whereas they often appeared to know what to do with a ball by pure instinct, Cruyff used intuition. Such was the calculated purpose of some of his touches that it seemed he had instantaneously done the geometry in his head. This exquisite first touch on the turn, against Den Haag in January 1972, is the perfect example. Little wonder renowned journalist David Miller described as “Pythagoras in boots”.

And, like all true innovators, the Ajax captained patented one particular piece of genius: the Cruyff turn.

“At that moment,” Swedish defender Jan Olsson said of his encounter with Cruyff in the 1974 World Cup, “I thought ‘I have him’… I thought I’d win the ball for sure. But he tricked me. I was not humiliated. I had no chance. Cruyff was a genius… it was the proudest memory of my career.”

At that point, of course, Cruyff was enjoying the very peak of his own career. The evolution of Total Football had eventually reached the stage where Ajax almost effortlessly won three successive European Cups. And, throughout each campaign, Cruyff wasn’t just imperious. He was seemingly redefining the presumed parameters of performance. While appearing to glide, he relentlessly unravelled a series of established sides.

And so it was at the 1974 World Cup too. As Dutch football historian David Winner has asserted, “across four weeks, Holland rendered South American football redundant”. In the 4-0 win over Argentina, the defenders were reduced to rugby-tackling Cruyff in order to keep the score down.

And, by then, he had also overturned Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. With a vengeance. With Barcelona winning 5-0, historian Jimmy Burns wrote that “with Cruyff, the team felt they couldn’t lose”. He gave them speed, flexibility and a sense of themselves.

Perhaps fittingly for a player that thought so much, though, Cruyff’s career never reached an inarguably conclusion. Holland never won that international trophy. Barca faded after the fantasy of 1974.

It’s little exaggeration, though, to describe Cruyff as the most influential player of all time. And not just in single matches. He himself, after all, knew the importance of combining the individual with the collective.

Ability 97
International 80
Club 86
Total 87.67

 

2. Pele

Career span 1956-77
Country Brazil: 92 caps, 77 goals
Clubs Santos, New York Cosmos
Position forward
Medals 3 World Cups, 2 Copa Libertadores, 1 Recopa Intercontinental, 5 Brazilian championships, 10 state championships

So ubiquitous is the praise for Pele, and so ingrained is the idea that he was among the very greatest of all time, that his exact talent can – counter-intuitively – be underappreciated. Even taken for granted.

But there was nothing to be taken for granted about Brazilian football in 1958. Infamously, they had repeatedly allowed the World Cup trophy to slip from their grasp. And the heightened tension now seemed to have a constant hold on the team.

Until, finally – and fittingly – Pele overturned all expectations himself.

With the final itself at a particular fraught point on 54 minutes, and Brazil holding a still fragile 2-1 lead, the ball came to the 17-year-old in the Swedish box.

“I made as if I was going to run forward but turned back instead,” Pele said. “That confused the defender and he let the ball come through to me. When I controlled it on my chest he thought I was going to shoot. I got my foot on it and flicked it over his head, which was something the Europeans weren’t used to… it was one of the most beautiful goals of my career.”

As we’ve seen elsewhere on this list, Pele was hardly the single reason a weight – and wait – was lifted for Brazil that summer. Indeed, the only actual game-changing goal he got was in the 1-0 quarter-final over Wales. But that was still one of six, with a hat-trick coming in the semi and two in the final itself. And, the truth was that, such was the way Pele’s youthful exuberance washed away all of the old flaws, and such was the manner in which his all-round game represented the apogee of a purposeful evolution in Brazilian football, that he forever became associated with a glorious new era. In essence, he was a symbol. But one with an awful lot of substance.

The irony, of course, is that he barely got to exert himself at a World Cup for another 12 years. Pele was injured early in 1962 and kicked out of 1966.
But, in the meantime, he also altered the history of club football.

Again, the accepted realities of the modern game mean that can be difficult to truly appreciate. Because of the fact the top South Americans must travel to Europe long before they mature as players these days, the Copa Libertadores no longer possesses the game’s premium talents. But that was hardly the case in the ’60s. Santos represented the very peak of club football. And Pele was at the centre of their reign.

He had, of course, started it too. In 1962, he had scored a brace in the final against defending champions Penarol to secure Brazilian football’s first ever Copa Libertadores. But, if that series of games was close – with both sides winning away from home before a play-off in Buenos Aires – the subsequent Intercontinental Cup was anything but.

Having scored twice in the Maracana to give Santos a 3-2 lead, Pele then scored a hat-trick in Lisbon to embarrass Benfica 5-2 and completely overshadow Eusebio. As if to only emphasise his obvious superiority then, he humiliated the great Portuguese striker with a nut-meg.

A year later it would be the opposite, with a spectacular Copa Libertadores and a harder fought Intercontinental Cup. First off, Pele crushed his Brazilian teammates Jairzinho and Garrincha with a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over a brilliant Botofogo. Then, he rounded off a resounding win over Boca Juniors.

Milan would provide a stiffer test. Both sides won 4-2 before Dalma settled a play-off for Santos. But, again, Pele made his mark with four goals over the three games.

And, finally, in 1970 he would confirm his legacy.

Of that year’s World Cup final, Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich said: “I told myself before the game, ‘he’s made of skin and bones just like everyone else’. But I was wrong.”

And yet, as sublime as Pele was throughout the tournament and the showpiece itself, the moment that most stood out was of the utmost simplicity – a basic, but brilliant, five-yard pass for Carlos Alberto.

And the beauty was that it was only a repeat of a similar match-winning delivery for Jairzinho in the earlier game against England.

Essentially, in a tournament that many have described as the closest football has come to art, Pele seemed to be proving Leonardo Da Vinci’s maxim that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

But then, throughout that World Cup, Pele had been so on top of his game that he seemed to be very testing the limits of the sport: the dummy against Uruguay, the shot from his own half against Czechoslovakia.

It didn’t matter that they didn’t come off. He was the first to try them. “He was the most complete player I’ve ever seen,” Bobby Moore said. “Capable of everything.”

And, as a result, he would be first in this list – except for one reason. Pele undoubtedly reached the very top of the sport but his route there wasn’t exactly huge in range.

Indeed, 1958 set the tone for his career. Pele was utterly magnificent but was always ably complemented by magnificent players. In 1962, with Santos and then in 1970.

The same could not be said of his rival. Even it if is impossible to say anything else negative.

Ability 99
International 84
Club 81
Total 88

 

1. Diego Maradona

Career span 1976-97
Country Argentina: 91 caps, 34 goals
Clubs Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys, Boca Juniors
Position attacking midfielder
Medals 1 World Cup, 1 Uefa Cup, 3 domestic titles (2 Italy, 1 Argentina), 1 Italian cup

Given the stage, given the statement of intent and given the staggering number of players left in his wake, there has probably never been a great illustration of individual excellence as Diego Maradona’s second goal against England in 1986.

And yet, as unlikely as the run was, there was still a sense of inevitability and destiny about it. Because, as complete as Pele might have been and as innovate as Johan Cruyff was, no-one quite had the elemental mastery of a ball that Maradona possessed.

“I remember our early training sessions with him,” former Barca teammate Jose Carrasco said. “The rest of the team were so amazed that they just stood and watched him. Only he could create such a feeling of expectation.”

But the anomaly is that it took until 1986 for Maradona to properly fulfil it. Although he was only 25 at the time, it is incredible to think now how dubious his claims to true greatness were before that World Cup. Essentially, you can take the existing caveats about Leo Messi’s performance in the same tournament and multiply them by five.

At that point, Maradona had only won a solitary Argentine title and a Spanish cup, despite starting his career at 15 – the same age as Pele.

It was such parallels – as well as such ability, of course – that brought eternal comparisons with his Brazilian predecessor.

But, in truth, Pele faced far fewer obstacles than Maradona.

While both made their international debuts before the 1958 and 1978 World Cups, respectively, Argentina’s Cesar Menotti didn’t quite have the faith in youth that Vicente Feola did 20 years earlier.

As such, Maradona remained something of a rumour. While Pele got to announce his talent.

On a similar level, the Brazilian began his career at one of his country’s biggest clubs. By contrast, Argentinos Juniors had never won a professional title. And even when Maradona delivered a title to Boca Juniors in his only season there early on – thanks to 28 goals in 40 games – he arguably made the wrong move in going to Barcelona.

At that point, the Catalan club were often more moral victors than the outstanding champions of today. Still without a European Cup, Barca saw more decade-long droughts than league titles and seemed to perpetually stumble from crisis to crisis. And it was into another that Maradona walked in 1982.

Biographer Jimmy Burns wrote that “in Spain, both during the World Cup and in Barcelona, Maradona’s game had often been so undermined by bad refereeing as to become almost unplayable.”

Indeed, an infamous Andoni Goikoetxea assault put him out of action for three months in 1983-84. And that only followed a bout of hepatitis in his first season as well as an ongoing personality clash with president Josep Lluis Nunez. Because of so many external complications, Alfredo Di Stefano argued that Barcelona only saw 20% of Maradona’s full potential.

But it was still enough to score 38 goals in 58 games. Still enough to beat Real Madrid in a Spanish cup final. Still enough for Bernd Schuster to argue with Steve Archibald about who wouldn’t wear the number-10 shirt in his departure.

It was also still enough for Carrasco to see what really drove the player.

“When I was with him he seemed all too conscious of his roots. I’d realised how much he’d struggled to get where he was and how much he felt he still had to achieve to secure his family’s future.”

It was a narrative arc that was to apply to his greatest achievements.

Because, when Maradona went to Napoli in 1984, they had only won a solitary cup in their history. They were the unloved urchins of Italian football.

At the same time, Argentina hardly looked like world champions. They had won less than 40% of their matches in the four years leading up to the 1986 World Cup. Worse, they didn’t even have a system.

And, yet, Maradona lifted both to the greatest heights in their histories.

Because this is the real point about his career. In Mexico, Maradona didn’t just fulfil expectation. He finished it.

As Hugh McIlvanney wrote of the tournament, “Never before has the talent of a single footballer loomed so pervasively over everybody’s thinking… Maradona’s impact goes far beyond the simple realisation that he is indisputably the best and most exciting player now at work in the game. It is in inseparable from the potent sense of declaration inherent in almost everything he has done in the field here in Mexico.”

Sure, Michel Platini’s goals may have been statistically more decisive in Euro 84. But, quite simply, no one influenced an individual tournament like Maradona did in 1986.

But, as emphatic as his five goals were – from the Hand of God to the highlight reel against Belgium in the semi-finals – it was a more understatement performance in the final that truly illustrated the depth of his quality.

Throughout the game, Lothar Matthaus was charged with man-marking Maradona. But, realising that playing his normal game in such restrictive conditions would greatly diminish – and damage – his team, Maradona decided to go so deep so as to draw Matthaus from his anchor role and completely destabilise the Germans.
It worked perfectly as Argentina roared into a 2-0 lead.

Typical of the Germans, though, they exploited the team’s main weakness by scoring twice from set-pieces. But it was to prove their momentum. With momentum behind them, West German abandoned their restrictive approach in order to win the game.

Instead, it took Maradona just three minutes to exploit the extra space. With a divine through ball for Burruchaga, he settled the World Cup.

Four years later, Maradona would prove almost as impressive as he dragged Argentina to the final again. And, in between, he won Napoli the first two titles of their career as well as the Uefa Cup.

Given their history of failure, it is arguably the player’s equivalent of Brian Clough lifting Nottingham Forest to a European Cup.

And most impressively, amid the shackles of Italian football at the time, Maradona sustained his irrepressible, evasive style of play.
Of such moves in general and the goal against England specifically, Maradona once said “I seemed to be able to leave everyone behind.”
He may as well have been talking about football history.

Ability 100
International 90
Club 79
Total 89.67

 

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756 comments
Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

Well if you are an Englishmen then you cannot possibly understand why people love a rebel and hate an establishment.. Someone from a third world country can understand that very easily.. Someone from Latin America can precisely define it... but Europeans and Yankees cannot even imagine it... i will save the history lesson for another time..

 

Apart from having a very close relationship with Military dictators and FIFA's crooked bastards,, Pele did one thing for which many brazilians despise him-- HE FORGOT HIS ROOTS... he forgot where he came from,, he forgot the slum where he was brought up,, he forgot the shanties and hoodlums of Rio.. you say he is not evil.. Millions and Millions of people attended Garrincha's funeral in 1983...where was Pele??? Where was garrincha's great teammate??? Pele wasn't playing in 1983 oh no,, he retired in 1977..  Instead of attending his teammate's funeral,, Pele was busy in cuddling with his new buddies in FIFA..he was busy shaking hands with Reagan and the Queen ,Pele felt that it was more important to meet with these famous people rather than attending the funeral of his beloved teammate.. and you still DARE to say that Pele is not evil??????

 

Yes Pele did dedicate a goal to the poor childrens of brazil.. Hypocrites say very bright things at the beginning but in the end they give nothing... Pele did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the poverty of Brazil.. Pele was a lover of luxurious things.. he ran away to USA in 1974,, he starred a film with Stallione and launched his own video game in 1980.. he simply CHOSE to forgot about these poor childrens.. Once Pele climbed the ladder of fame,, he never even looked back at his native Brazil...

 

You can even see it today.. Millions of brazilians are in the streets protesting the corruption of this current government.. Millions of dollars are being invested for the World Cup but none in Healthcare.. Romario and Rivaldo understood the pulse of the people and they are already preparing to start a historic revolution in brazil to overthrow this crooked bastards.. but is PELE saying?? he is saying that People "should leave the streets and go back home and not create any chaos.The government is doing the right thing".. It INFURIATED the brazilians masses like wildfire.. Pele has become so distanced from his own people that he cannot even understand their pulse..

 

Di Stefano wasn't born in a slum like Garrincha,Pele,Maradona,Rivaldo,Romario.. Di Stefano had european descent and ultimately,, he fled to Europe to serve his forefathers.. He was born rich and he never cared for the poor.. In his playing days,, Di stefano didn't like Didi at all because he was from a very poor background.. that was reason why Real Madrid always kept Didi at bench while Stefano was running the show.. i never liked Di stefano but also i cannot disagree that he is one of the greatest in history..

 

Then you may ask that why do I Hate Pele So much???   I hate him so much because I LOVED him so much.. Before i knew about Pele's cuddling with FIFA and other bastards,, I loved Pele just like Garrincha, just like Maradona, just like Rivaldo, just Ronaldinho.. After all,, they all grew up in the dirtiest of slums.. i was six years old when Maradona was tearing apart the English in 1986 and from then on i started to dig the history to find players having a similar background to maradona.. i found Garrincha and Pele and while Pele was with FIFA,, i was not aware of that at that time.. Many years later when i did found out about Pele's real Face,, i was very shocked indeed.. Just like when Figo betrayed barca and went to Madrid,, Barca fans wrote in a banner-- "We Hate you so much because We loved you so much".. it was exactly my feeling with Pele..and while i continued to agree that he was one of the greatest in history along with Maradona and Garrincha,, i lost all the love for him..

 

Garrincha's tale is a sad one but he came to this planet to give joy to his people through the means of football and his people received the joy with open arms.. he only understood the language of football and he didn't even know the format of the 1958 and 62 World Cups.. the chilean newspaper rightfully said: "Which planet is Garrincha from??" We may not know that ever again but Brazil's love for him refuses to die........................................................................

snakehips
snakehips

Good time to remember Tom Finney.Very few would have seen him play.But not only brilliant - dazzling speed + goals + loyal to one club.But a gentleman off the pitch as well.

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

30 years has passed since Garrincha died..  Yet the brazilians always says "We always label the rising stars as the Next Pele because we know there will always be ONE garrincha".. Many Latin American Poets were absolutely fascinated by the miracles feats that Garrincha conjured everyday.. the great Eduardo Galeano said these words:

"In the entire history of football no one made more people happy. When he was out there, the pitch was a circus ring, the ball a tamed animal, the match a party invitation. Garrincha nurtured his pet, the ball, and together they created such mischief that people almost died laughing. He jumped over it, it gambolled around him, hid itself away, skipped off and made him run after it. And on the way, his opponents ran into each other."

 

Manuel Francisco dos Santos aka GARRINCHA--the most beloved brazilian player of all time......

 

 

snakehips
snakehips

This is about the greatest 100 players of all time.

So why has the Pele v Maradona debate dominated virtually all comments so far?

It has become tedious + looks like the writers of these posts don't know any other players.

 

Sansho
Sansho

Pelé easily the greatest ever, ahead of the master of total football Cruyff. Maradona has benefited from myths and ignoring his faults and failures.

 

Before Pelé, Brazil had never won a world cup nor did they for 24 years without him. He was outstanding aged 17 in 58 world cup as well as in 1970. He made Santos the best club in the world, dominating Brazilian clubs with other great players and destroying the top European clubs, Benfica (hat-trick in Benfica), and Milan. He was top scorer in the Intercontinental Cup. In his time, South American clubs were easily a match for European. He had a magnificent scoring record in cup finals as well as overall, including against European clubs and countries. He was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government, not allowed to play for as foreign club till the 70s

 

Maradona was sent off in one world cup, cheated in another and was disgraced in another, He had a poor scoring record in cup finals and for Napoli in Europe. He never won the top continental cup. Without him during his career Argentina won a world cup and the Copa America twice, but he never won the Copa America. He improved Argentina's win-loss record by only 0.8% compared with his absence during his career, whereas Pelé improved Brazil by 11.25%.

 

Pelé was a more complete player; great header, athletic, 2-footed, passer, shot, dribbler, vision; Maradona was mainly one-footed- so much for so-called technique. Pelé had a better temperament and Maradona was a cheat not only with infamous handball "goal" but also drugs.

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

Today is undoubtedly a sad day for football.. The greatest Portuguese player in history, the black Panther, a man who reinvented the art of scoring goals in the 1960s-- Eusebio has passed away from this world at the age of 71...

 

He stamped Portugal's name in the football map with his explosive goals in the 1966 WC... At that WC, much of the world was disappointed with Pele's epic failure but Eusebio exploded just at the right time to fill up the vacuum.. obviously, eusebio remained in Pele's shadows for the most of 60s,, but his domination in the European Cup was second to none.. and for that,, he remains an unfettering figure in the golden history of football..in my list of 100 greatest players,, he is no.12

 

May peace rest upon his Departed Soul............................................

ronaldofenomenon
ronaldofenomenon

with all the respect to maradona he is one of the greatest ever but  pele was better. if you look some old videos of pele was amazing,his dribbling,ball control and shoot was much better than maradona, who forgot the match against uruguay 1970 world cup pele performed the best skill ever.yes maradona win the biggest poll of fifa, but was voted by young fans who dont see pele play,in the other hand pele wins win the poll  by lengendery players who wins golden balls, if you dont believe watch here http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/best-x-players-of-y.html. its funny some compare the poll of maradona and the poll of pele WHY??? because  these footballers who are legends of these sport knows far more tons than football fans.

marklbrown
marklbrown

pele vs maradona will never be a winner its like anderson silva vs fedor emilienenko,my personal favourite is zidane because his ball control is the best ever in my option, i remember wc 2006 zidane performence was phenomenon and i remember how dominant was against brazil.for me maradona sould have win more world cups and more titles than pele, even messi says that Even if I played for a million years, I’d never come close to Maradona. Not that I’d want to anyway. He’s the greatest there’s ever been

MauroBraz
MauroBraz

snakehips if you gonna watch some old clips watch some old clips of eusébio or luis figo ... cause cr7 it's one of the best's in the world if not the best don't say half decent portugal team cause the past  years second place in european and fourth place in world championship it's no easy task with a ''half decent team'' 

axelmathieu
axelmathieu

you need to update the list asap cause there's no reason Cristiano cannot be on the list.

FrankLovett
FrankLovett

Modern news, Develop you a good soccer striker! Most of the strikers have the skill to score goals by putting or placing the ball into a position where the goalkeepers just can’t reach. This skill is called the finishing skill.

FrankLovett
FrankLovett

Newest news, Soccer training need! This has enhances the game because in one way or another, the players will in most cases be available for varied matches thus helping the game to grow and the players to be fit.

krucijal82
krucijal82

Cmon, you ignored yugoslavian players which btw were called the european brazilians, In case anyone still follows this post, please answer me why there isn't first of all Dragan Dzajic, maybe the best left winger ever? Why there isn't Vladimir Beara for whom Lev Yashin said that he is better goalkeeper than him? Why there isn't Dragan Stojkovic, the last legendary 10 of european football? Why there isn't Robert Prosinecki? These are just world famous but I can tell you a number of players, Yugoslav first league was 4th or 5th european competition and had many world class players such as probably the best tandem in history Blagoje Mosa Marjanovic and Aleksandar Tirke Tirnanic, best dribbler of his time Dragoslav Sekularac? Ica Hitrec, Rajko Mitic, Milan Galic, Stjepan Bobek, Milutin Soskic, Velimir Zajec, Vladimir Petrovic, Safet Susic, Davor Suker, Robert Jarni, Branko Oblak, Velibor Vasovic the captain of Ajax golden era, and before Cruijf the creator of total football? Dejan Savicevic genius, Darko Pancev, Dusan Bajevic, Slobodan Santrac-THE EUROPEAN GOLDEN BOOT? All those people and many others aren't mentioned because they are my people, they are mentioned as true legends of european and world football so please if you make a new ist in future at least mention Dragan Dzajic, Beara. Stojkovic and Prosinecki

snakehips
snakehips

The Pele v Maradona goes on.......................... in a debate which will never be won, because ultimately it is a subjective view.

 

Who said what, how many goals, who won what and in what context (with good other players or not).

 

Referring to a previous comment in true Quentin Tarantino style (Pulp Fiction), are you an Elvis or The Beatles fan? You make like them both - but which one if you had to choose? Lots of Elvis and Beatles fans could come up with quotes, gigs, singles, albums sold + I'm sure what each said about the other. But fundamentally it is an individual choice.

 

Pleased to see that one of the comments on Messi was wise - in that he is still unproven until he wins/does well in the world cup. Even then, whether he would have scored as many goals in brilliant sides (Barcelona + Spain) without the luxury of referee protection (which Pele,Maradona, Garrincha + George Best definitely did not have), there will still be a question mark over whether he is a better player than any of these four and/or others.

 

Think the 'new is good' brigade - 'Messi is the best ever' need to look at some older clips of the above players + then make a comment - about skill, speed, goals, ability, vision + sheer perserverance with defenders who would try to stop them by any harsh means necessary.:)

MauroBraz
MauroBraz

What? ... first of all pelé all counted goals like friendlyes , cups, leagues , are like 1030 something so you're wrong when you say bican secondly we can't compare zidane who was in the beginning of the 90's to the 60's when the ball weight like 5 kg and was not plastic ... you say careca is better than pele? no sir pele was the best in is time like maradona was in is time for me ? for me it's Pele EUSEBIO and Maradona ... Pelé did score 1,283 goals, but 526 goals came in unofficial friendlies and tour games ... so what i say to you is that a goal it's a goal and everyone counts ... 

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN  wow wow wow,, i took a little break and suddenly an idiot with the name of "zizou the magician" is praising pele as if zidane was the child of pele...

 

your argument from very beginning is absolute rubbish...

 

Most official goals is 800 is scored by Josef Bican NOT pele... check this site http://www.rsssf.com/players/prolific.html . pele is not even second..

 

you try compare the goals that pele and maradona which is absolutely hilarious... pele is a striker,, maradona is a midfielder.. they both played in vastly different eras..

 

wow i didnot know that so many people saw pele in their wet dreams.. you said that romario said pele was better than messi.. yes romario did say that.. more recently romario also said that pele is an IMBECILE.. read more on here- http://www.goal.com/en/news/60/south-america/2013/04/27/3936007/romario-pele-is-an-imbecile .. you will know how much romario "loves" pele.. Brazil coach scolari himself said pele knows NOTHING about football.. 1970 brazilian legend gerson tore up the hilarious list of 100 greatest living footballers made by Pele.. Strangely enough,, pele excluded his fellow teammate gerson but included a clown like el-hadji diouf.. the public of Rio de Janeiro were furious when pele refused attend garrincha's funeral in 1983.. they were again more furious when pele famously predicted that italy would defeat brazil in the 2009 Confederations cup.. the exact oppsite happened.. brazil thrashed italy 3-0.. in fact every word that came out of pele's mouth became a jinx.. pele famously dubbed that Nii Lamptey will be his succesor,, but a few years later Lamptey spectacularly fails to fulfil his talent, believing himself that he was cursed by dark forces. The midfielder shifts around clubs such as PSV, Aston Villa, Coventry, Venezia and Ankaragucu, without success, and endures tragedy in his personal life, as two of his children die. was that "curse" casted from pele's mouth???? pele also said that brazil would be out in the group stages of the 2002 WC.. brazil went on to become the world champion for the fifth time and ronaldo went on to break pele's goal tally in the WC.. then how in the world can you say that pele is a SAINT????????????

 

pele was unlucky that he was injured in 62 and 66 WC???????????? SO according to your rubbish opinion,, maradona WASN'T unlucky that he didn't play in the 78 WC despite becoming the youngest top scorer in Argentine league history??????????????????????????? Maradona wasn't UNLUCKY  to feature in all of the barca's matches despite being the best player IN barca???????????????????????????????????????????

 

if you think like that then i simply have to say that you lack brain cells...

 

you even have the nerve to TRY to dispute that maradona won the WC single-handedly...i am now absolutely certain that you haven't watched a single football match in your whole life...

 

The list of footballers who said maradona is the greatest and infinity:

 

Zidane: the greatest ever

 

2: Careca: admiteas was far better than pele

 

3: Bobby Charlton: the greatest footballer

 

4: Gullit: he was from another world

 

5: Marco van Basten: The Greatest footballer ever

 

6: Former manager of england bobby robson: hate him or love him he was the greatest player of all time.

 

7: Zola: he was the god of football

 

8: Ronaldhino: hes was my idol and greatest

 

9: won player of the century at fifa 2000 awards

 

11: Ze Roberto and R. Carlos: Maradona was without doubt the greatest

 

12: Bearzot: Maradona is football

 

13: Sacchi on sky: Maradona is the best player in the world

 

14: Baggio: Maradona all players dream

 

15: gentile: Maradona better than Pelè

 

16: Boscov: Maradona can not be compared

 

17: Sivori: maradona the best in the world

 

18: Cantona: Maradona is greatest art.The

 

19: Eusebio: Maradona was the greatest

 

20: Maldini: Maradona is Maradona

 

– "Ruud Gullit: Diego Maradona is the best ever in my opinion". goal.com, 29 July 2012 – "Lionel Messi: Diego Maradona is the greatest of all-time". SoccerAnchor, 7 September 2011 – "Rummenigge: Maradona better than Pele". The Times of India, 12 November 2008 – "Paolo Maldini: Maradona best ever, Ronaldo close second" Paolo Maldini fan page, 21 July 2008 – "Gary Lineker: Diego has been the best player without a doubt, better than Pele" SoccerBlog, 25 March 2006 – "Glenn Hoddle: Diego Maradona is the greatest player of all time". SoccerBible, 22 July 2010. – "Ryan Giggs: Maradona is the best of all time". tribalfootball, 11 October 2011. – "Rio Ferdinand: In my eyes Maradona is the best footballer ever". fifa.com, 7 November 2008 – "Mario Kempes: Maradona is absolutely the best". ESPN soccernet, 18 April 2005. – "Aguero: It is disrespectful to compare me to Maradona". Mirro Football, 20 November 2011. – "Frank McGarvey: Diego Maradona was world's best player". Daily Record, 30 October 2008. – "Gordon Smith: Maradona was the best player I ever saw play the game". Daily Record, 30 October 2008. – "Trevor Edwards: Maradona is best" Central Telegraph, 11 April 2012 – "Maradona’s still number one". The Sun, 29 April 2011. – "Considered by many as the greatest football player to have ever walked the face of the earth". FIFA.com

 

pele doesn't even have a statue of himself in brazil..

 

Maradona= The greatest player anybody will ever see..

 

 

 

ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN
ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN

 @Tanvir 86  For u Maradona won the Wc single handedly..   Argentina was a well organised defensive squad  ..only 3 goas  conceded in 1986...  equals england record of 1966...

 

Let's be honest  1986  was probably the wc of minnows..Germany 1982 was better than 1986..

 

England in 1990 were better than in 1986.. Argentina drew  1-1 with Italy who were beaten 2-0 by france..  Italy had a very poor squad in 1986..  In Reality  Maradona won wc  against average sides.

 

Majority of the players in 1986 wc squad played for Independiente,Argentinos Juniors and River plate  where argentina won three concecutive copa Libertadores from 1984-86

 

in 1990  argentina true hero was Sergio Goycoechea.. Argentina 1990  was imo the worst squad who played negative football  ..  Argentina were almost eliminated in first round  if it wasn't for GD

 

Argentina in 1994  had a wonderfu squad even without Maradona..they won 2 copa america without maradona help...  their lost to romania was the fact that romanian had a 6 days rest compared to argentina 2 days...  So  stop blabbering that Argentina was nothing without Maradona..

 

Pele imo was little unlucky that he got injured in 62 and 66 squad..  

 

Maradona was not even selected in a weak argentine squad of 78  whereas Pele at the age of 17 was Selected in thje wc squad having santos duo,vava,zagallo,zito ,mazolla,garrincha..

 

Now imagine How talented Pele was at the age of 17..

footpascher
footpascher

if one player drove a lesser team to Champions League qualification or a World Cup, then it had to be examined whether that feat was the equal of an international star forcing an already-competitive team over the line.   http://www.mdf2014.com/

ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN
ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN

Franz Beckenbauer: "Pele is the greatest player of all time. He reigned supreme for 20 years. All the others - Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini - rank beneath him. There's no one to compare with Pele." 

 

-Cristiano Ronaldo: "Pele is the greatest player in football history, and there would only be one Pele in the world."

 

-Johan Cruyff: "Pele was the only footballer who surpassed the boundaries of logic."

-Osvaldo Ardiles: Pele really had everything -- goalscoring ability, a great passer, good in the air, quick, he used both feet, almost the perfect footballer. Many words have been written about Pele but his record speaks for itself --more than 1,000 goals and three World Cup victories. He also played at a time when attacking players were not protected by referees as much as they are today.

 

-Gianni Rivera: "However, I do think there's someone who was even better(than Messi) and that's Pele. He used both feet on the pitch. He was as dangerous with his right as he was with his left. He was strong in the air as well, and created a lot of chances."

 

-Antonio Rattin: "Pele is better than Maradona"  (best argentine player of 60's)

 

-Eusebio: "Pele played in an era which had so many great players and in that atmosphere he stood out above the others. He was the complete player in every aspect as well as being a kind human being. Cristiano Ronaldo is young yet, and has many years ahead of himself. But as of now, I do not see anyone who can compare with Pele"

-Bobby Moore: "Pele was the most complete player I've ever seen, he had everything. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Quick. Powerful. Could beat people with skill. Could outrun people. Only 5ft 8in tall, yet he seemed a giant of an athlete on the pitch. Perfect balance and impossible vision. He was the greatest because he could do anything and everything on a football pitch. I remember Saldhana the coach being asked by a Brazilian journalist who was the best goalkeeper in his squad. He said Pele. The man could play in any position." -

Ferenc Puskas: "The greatest player in history was Di Stefano. I refuse to classify Pele as a player. He was above that."

 

-Sir Alex Ferguson: "Question: Best player you ever saw? -AF: Pelé, di Stefano, Maradona, Cruyff. -Q:In that order? -AF: Yes, I think so."

 

-Romario: "Messi has all the conditions to be the best, but first he has to beat Maradona, Romario and then eventually Pele."

 

-Costa Pereira: "I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I went away convinced I had been undone by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of us." 

-Michel Platini: "There's Pele the man, and then Pele the player. And to play like Pele is to play like God."

-Alfredo Di Stefano: "The best player ever? Pele. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both great players with specific qualities, but Pele was better."

 

-Sir Bobby Charlton: "I sometimes feel as though football was invented for this magical player."

-Tostao: "Pele was the greatest -- he was simply flawless. And off the pitch he is always smiling and upbeat. You never see him bad-tempered. He loves being Pele."

 

-Zico: "This debate about the player of the century is absurd. There's only one possible answer: Pele. He's the greatest player of all time, and by some distance I might add." -Tarcisio Burgnich: "Before the match, I told myself that Pele was just flesh and bones like the rest of us. Later I realised I'd been wrong."

 

-Cesar Luis Menotti: "The best of all was Pele, who is a mixture of Di Stefano, Maradona, Cruyff and Leo Messi."

 

-Cesar Luis Menotti: "It's ugly to compare but the greatest was Pele. If we believe that God made ​​man, the "black" Pelé he made him perfect. He gave him everything. He lacked nothing, header, physical power, dribbling, finishing, inspiration, genius, temper, vision, goal. Everything."¨

 

-Hugo Gatti: "Pelé had the skin of a player, head, pace, everything. He was a panther dressed in white, I played with him. He entered to play in the last minute and he could turn the match. And the big difference is that Pelé on the field created fear, Maradona not...For me, it is Pelé, Alfredo Di Stefano and Maradona, in that order. I appreciate Diego, he is a great player. But from another planet was Pelé, not him."

 

-Teófilo Cubillas: "I confronted him several times on the pitch and I think there will be noone like him."

 

-Mario Zagallo: "Pele represented everything in soccer because of what he has done on the pitch."

 

-Geoffrey Green: "Di Stefano was manufactured on earth, Pele was made in heaven."

ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN
ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN

 @Tanvir 86   U believe the fact that Garrincha was better than Pele..hv u seen the Internet Poll..

 

it's says Baggio,romario, van basten ,rivaldo ,zico were  better than Beckenbauer,Alfredo di stefano  and Johan cruyff...  Which is the biggest Joke of all..  

 

Van basten : he  himself said that Cruyff is the father of dutch football.. So how can he be better than cruyff..  

 

This poll clearly proves that Majority of voter were mosty football fans of late 80's and 90's 

Zagallo managed both Pele and Ronaldo, and he has emphasised that Pele is the greatest. Menotti who is one of the most respected figures in Argentina on football, and also managed Maradona, has emphasised the gulf between Pele and the rest. Brian Granville, one of the most respected names in football journalism, who has watched all the greats everyone from Di Steffano to Messi, still emphasises that Pele is the greatest he has ever seen. So its silly to try and diminish Pele. It can't be done!

 

 MOST EVER OFFICIAL GOALS : PELE

MOST EVER CLUB TITLES : PELE

MOST EVER WORLD CUPS (MUNDIALS) : PELE

MOST EVER GOALS AT INTERCONTINENTAL CUP FINALS : PELE

MOST EVER GOALS AT WORLD CUP (MUNDIAL) FINALS PER MATCH : PELE

PLUS+ .....IFFHS SAID PELE. ....BALLON D'OR SAID PELE. CONMEBOL SAID

PELE.   VAN BASTEN SAID PELE......... BECKENBAUER SAID PELE...... EUSEBIO SAID PELE BETTER THAN MARADONA.    CRUIYFF   SAID PELE...........    B.CHARLTON SAID PELE. ........DI STEFANO SAID PELE. EVERYBODY SAID PELE !!!!  EVEN ARGENTINIAN MENOTTI SAID PELE !!!

WHO  IS  THE  SPORTS  PERSONALITY  OF  THE  CENTURY,ATHLETE  OF  THE CENTURY  N  JURY'S CHOICE  FIFA  PLAYER  OF  THE  CENTURY

YET SOME  FOOLS  COMPARE  DRUG  ADDICT  MARADONA WITH  HIM..

 

 

snakehips
snakehips

Just had a quick, closer look at the top 100 list.

Lev Yashin - the list + no-one/few dispute best goalkeeper ever (top position for a goalkeeper)..

He is listed at 27.

1-26 have at least 16 players who are forwards/attacking players.

Why do the goalkeepers, defenders + defensive midfielders not get appropriate credit?

Football is a team game. Any ideas - when they are often the real match winners?:), 

snakehips
snakehips

Zlatan Ibramovic - great individualistic player.

No doubts.

Always performs well. But greatest ever?

Probably in the top 10 current players - but all time? - think he falls a bit short.:) 

 

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

Just checked the World Soccer website.. their so called "panelists" chose a greatest XI of all time:

 

Goalkeeper: Lev Yashin

Defenders:Cafu,Maldini,Moore,Beckenbeur

Midfielders:Maradona,Zidane,Di Stefano,Cryuff

Strikers:Messi,Pele.

 

the link is: http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/the-greatest-xi-how-the-panel-voted

 

My question is how come the greatest full back of all time- Carlos Alberto not chosen.. How come Maldini is there?? then i checked further and found that their Maldini was voted 48 times and Carlos Alberto was only 18.. really?? maldini is undoubtedly a legend but he is nowhere near Carlos Alberto.. some of these panelists also had the brain to vote for Messi 46 times and Brazilian Ronaldo only 9 times.. Cryuff didn't win the WC but he got a staggering 58 votes but the greatest Winger of all time- Garrincha got only 15..The Marvellous Didi didn't even get a mention..

 

This is what happens when a bunch of tabloid writers are given the job to select a Greatest XI..they rate football players by their popularity and not by what they have done on the field.. these same panelists voted Pele as the "Football personality of the Century" when they knew absolutely nothing about the personal life of Pele..

 

Messi hasn't done anything on the international stage yet he is selected overwhelmingly over Brazilian Ronaldo.. Ronaldo is the highest scorer in the WC+ he has explosiveness which messi lacks..Messi MIGHT be a slightly better overall player than Ronaldo but Ronaldo can score goals from anywhere on the pitch.. Ronaldo is the most Purest Striker yet he gets only 9 votes.. What a Pathetic Joke..

 

Miguel Delaney didn't vote...but he sure wouldn't have voted for this team...

adamrhbrown
adamrhbrown

 @Tanvir 86 Pele and Garrincha provide an interesting personality contrast, but I still don't get why you feel people should automatically love the rebel and hate the establishment figure. Why wouldn't the vast majority of Brazilians love both of them? (Those who remember them at least.) It would be like Argentine fans loving Maradona and hating Messi or English fans loving Paul Gascoigne and hating Bobby Charlton.

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @Sansho DID PELE EVER WIN COPA AMERICA???????? PELE WASN'T SENT OFF IN ANY GAME?????????? WAS MARADONA A STIRIKER LIKE PELE???????????

 

i don't have the patience to argue with another maradona-hater like you... i will only say that you have never watched GARRINCHA... Pele doesn't come even close..

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @ronaldofenomenon i do remember the MISS OF THE CENTURY when the "Almighty Pele" did everything right against uruguay but then failed to score an OPEN goal.. When maradona dribbled against england,, nothing was open yet he still scored and that also against a 6'3 Shilton covering the goal..if pele scored on that night in 1970 then he MIGHT have reached the level of maradona but unfortunately that never happened..

 

why don't you see the even older videos of garrincha??? that will make pele look like a ball boy..

 

obviously,, "Legendary" players like Beckenbeur,Platini shared the same bed with pele in FIFA so it no surprise that FIFA would honour their favorite poster boy with that hilarious award.. Legendary players like Di Stefano,Bearzot,Baresi,Maldini who stayed far away from FIFA's A$$ said that Maradona was greater than pele.. so you decide which group of Legend's comments are you going to approve??? the fans already gave their verdict quite emphatically in three Worldwide polls.......

 

 

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @marklbrown you can't measure a player's greatness simply by judging the number of titles he has won.. cafu has won more titles than garrincha but does that make him a greater player?????????

 

What Maradona did in the 86 World Cup,, pele can only dream of that... it was beyond logic, beyond imagination... never in the history did ONE man single-handedly led a team to WC victory EXCEPT only maradona and garrincha... pele can wash his "Titles" with his underpants,, he is never even close to those two above him..

 

Messi can play for eternity... he will still not get close to Maradona's grandeur unless Messi reverses the time and single-handedly wins this year's World Cup.. Can he accomplish this gigantic feat???? we will have to wait until the 13th of July............

snakehips
snakehips

 @axelmathieu .....yawn! the 'new must be good' posse strike again (motto:let's ignore all the previous comments + 100 years of football history).May be a good idea to come back when he has won the world cup with a half decent Portugal + stake his claim again + watch some old clips of Pele, Marardona, Garrincha + Best.

Fans of Messi - ditto.:)

snakehips
snakehips

 @FrankLovett What has this got to do with this debate?

Sure there other forums where this is appropriate + incisive. But this is not the one.:).

snakehips
snakehips

 @krucijal82 Hate to mention it - but they've never won at the highest level (World Cup).Zlatan fanatastic.

Top 6 in player current times (maybe) - not the greatest of all time.:)

ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN
ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN

 @Tanvir 86  @ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN 

 

Again such  a loser comment...  Maradona  no doubt was a great player but  u can't say he won all things  single handedly..

 

 

U hv not read  my comments  carefully  especially  what  great  players  hv told  about  Pele...  U  mean to say  BBC,IOC  are fools to name Pele as player of the century.

 

Internet poll  clearly were fools  who named romario,rivaldo,zico,van basten ahead of Beckenbauer,garrincha..

 

 

Garrincha  was 27th in the list..think if maradona would hv played in 1962 and Garrincha in 1986... Garrincha would hv  topped the list.

 

Pele  doesn't hv a statue  of himself in brazil..  Go and watch the maracana stadium who statue is there outside.

 

 

He has 2nd statue in sao paulo city...  He is treated as God of football..

 

Think  pele won Silver ball ahead of fonatine ,kopa,garrincha,vava, yashin ,edwards,charlton,ponatine..So many great player that to at the age of 17...

 

I can gurantee u he would hv won the golden ball both in 1962,1966

 

I think u don't even know about brazil team in 1966 world cup  ..  Military dictatorship forced 1962 world cup winners to play in 1966 where most p;layers were above 30's ..in reality 1966 was fixed

 

So u think Argentina was nothing without maradona in 1986  than u r wrong..

Maradona dominated the tournamenmt like  no one else  but Defence had a great hand in helping  Win the world cup...Argentina lacked indivivual  brilliance but tactically and systematically they were a great  team as most  players played for independente,argentine juniors and  Boca juniors  who won 3 consecutive copa libertatodos from 1984-86..

 

 

Platini dominated euro 1984 with 9 goals n provided 3 for others  ..i thinks it's way more dominating.  But still Platini is not among 10 best player of world cup

 

Pele was the best player in 1959,1961,1963-65,1970..

 

Maradona was the best player in 1986,87 and 88  ..

 

Without him Argentina won 1991 n 1993 copa america...

 

In napoli he too  had some great players like careca.. no doubt  maradona was phenenomenal. Maradona played with the same system in napoli like he is played in argentina

 

Even current argentine coach Sabella is creating a Barcelona enviroment for messi to bring out his best..

 

In 1986..  Maradona played in a very sysmmetatic defensive team... u can see just  3 goals in 7 matches..  

 

 

 

 

Internet polls were a joke  u can see  where great like cryuff ,garrincha ,beckenbauer finished below romario,van basten, gullit,rivaldo etc..

 

 

I think  there are far better people than u to judge  who was the gretaest and majority believes pele the G.O.A.T.

 

 

RONALDINHO  never saw pele  as in youtube less than 20% pele  career exist..Rivelinho was his true hero ..

 

IFFHS SAID PELE. ....BALLON D'OR SAID PELE. CONMEBOL SAID

PELE.   VAN BASTEN SAID PELE......... BECKENBAUER SAID PELE...... EUSEBIO SAID PELE BETTER THAN MARADONA.    CRUIYFF   SAID PELE...........    B.CHARLTON SAID PELE. ........DI STEFANO SAID PELE. EVERYBODY SAID PELE !!!!  EVEN ARGENTINIAN MENOTTI SAID PELE !!!

WHO  IS  THE  SPORTS  PERSONALITY  OF  THE  CENTURY,ATHLETE  OF  THE CENTURY  N  JURY'S CHOICE  FIFA  PLAYER  OF  THE  CENTURY

 

 

Careca

snakehips
snakehips

 @Tanvir 86 Completely agree that this is not a good selection for a team.

Four attacking midfielders in one team ?

Why not go the whole way - drop a couple of defenders + add Garrincha + Best?

We would both be happy then..lol! (haha).

The point is that it is very flashy selection XI (lots of superb/quality players)

- but not a BALANCED TEAM.

Infact, who needs a goalkeeper or the other two defenders?

Let's just throw in Eusebio, Romario + Puskas instead .......lol! (haha).

Messi above Brazil Ronaldo is a complete joke.

Teams who win the World Cup/other have a good defensive midfielder.

They don't score regularly or get the headlines - but are essential for any team.

But no sign of one in this Greatest XI. :)

 

 

 

 

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @Sansho do you even know the full of history of maradona??????????????

 

you talk like you are a great analyst but instead have a relentless grudge against maradona..

 

first, maradona was very unlucky to miss out on the 1978 WC.. he was the even younger than pele and he ripping everything in the argentine league.. but for some  reasons, menotti didn't chose him.. as menotti was an eternal Pele-lover, he feared that his darling's record of the youngest player to enter the WC will be broken if maradona is chosen.. at the final moment, menotti leaves out the blistering 16-year old maradona.... the whole argentina was shocked... but maradona didn't lose hope.. in came the 1979 youth WC, where maradona absolutely ripped everything by scoring 7 magnificent goals and winning it single-handedly.. just like pele in the late 50s, maradona was the greatest under-20 player in the late 70s..so to say maradona was a "ghost" in his youth is a pure indication of HATRED towards him..

 

maradona 82's appearance was bad because of that HAGGARD menotti's reluctance and egoistic passarella's ARROGANCE.. it was never maradona's fault.. he was a victim of those dirty "football" politics which was also why barca's president Nunez refused to play him in regular La liga matches..and let's not forget, maradona got injured by the WORST TACKLE OF ALL TIME by the butcher of bilbao which further increased doubts and rumors about maradona..

 

but maradona BURIED everything in 1986.. scored the GREATEST GOAL MANKIND HAS EVER WITNESSED on 22 June 1986, Azteca stadium.. not only did he dribble past half the english team, he controlled the ball superbly on the puddles of water on that pitch.. even more mind-boggling is that he accelerated at such a blistering pace on the right side of field, ordinary left-footers find it difficult to run in the right-side, but instead of slowing down, maradona accelerated with lightining pace and dribbled effortlessly past the english to score an absolutely legendary goal that took him to very pinnacle of football.. it was THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION of how far an individual player's impact goes on his team.. and throughout the whole 86 WC, maradona emphatically proved what a ONE-MAN team can do...

 

pele protagonist??????????? i assume you have never heard of Vava,garrincha,amarildo,tostao,carlos alberto, gerson,rivelino... pele's golden teammates who helped him SO MUCH... who did maradona play with????? burruchaga,careca,giordino,valdano.. maradona's average-ish teammates who couldn't even dribble past a player properly let alone helping maradona...

 

The list of footballers who said maradona is the greatest and infinity:

 

Zidane: the greatest ever

 

2: Careca: admiteas was far better than pele

 

3: Bobby Charlton: the greatest footballer

 

4: Gullit: he was from another world

 

5: Marco van Basten: The Greatest footballer ever

 

6: Former manager of england bobby robson: hate him or love him he was the greatest player of all time.

 

7: Zola: he was the god of football

 

8: Ronaldhino: hes was my idol and greatest

 

9: won player of the century at fifa 2000 awards

 

11: Ze Roberto and R. Carlos: Maradona was without doubt the greatest

 

12: Bearzot: Maradona is football

 

13: Sacchi on sky: Maradona is the best player in the world

 

14: Baggio: Maradona all players dream

 

15: gentile: Maradona better than Pelè

 

16: Boscov: Maradona can not be compared

 

17: Sivori: maradona the best in the world

 

18: Cantona: Maradona is greatest art.The

 

19: Eusebio: Maradona was the greatest

 

20: Maldini: Maradona is Maradona

 

– "Ruud Gullit: Diego Maradona is the best ever in my opinion". goal.com, 29 July 2012 – "Lionel Messi: Diego Maradona is the greatest of all-time". SoccerAnchor, 7 September 2011 – "Rummenigge: Maradona better than Pele". The Times of India, 12 November 2008 – "Paolo Maldini: Maradona best ever, Ronaldo close second" Paolo Maldini fan page, 21 July 2008 – "Gary Lineker: Diego has been the best player without a doubt, better than Pele" SoccerBlog, 25 March 2006 – "Glenn Hoddle: Diego Maradona is the greatest player of all time". SoccerBible, 22 July 2010. – "Ryan Giggs: Maradona is the best of all time". tribalfootball, 11 October 2011. – "Rio Ferdinand: In my eyes Maradona is the best footballer ever". fifa.com, 7 November 2008 – "Mario Kempes: Maradona is absolutely the best". ESPN soccernet, 18 April 2005. – "Aguero: It is disrespectful to compare me to Maradona". Mirro Football, 20 November 2011. – "Frank McGarvey: Diego Maradona was world's best player". Daily Record, 30 October 2008. – "Gordon Smith: Maradona was the best player I ever saw play the game". Daily Record, 30 October 2008. – "Trevor Edwards: Maradona is best" Central Telegraph, 11 April 2012 – "Maradona’s still number one". The Sun, 29 April 2011. – "Considered by many as the greatest football player to have ever walked the face of the earth". FIFA.com

 

 

ronaldofenomenon
ronaldofenomenon

 @Tanvir 86 Alfredo Di Stefano: "The best player ever? Pele. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both great players with specific qualities, but Pele was better."  your propaganda agaist pele is amazing,first off all you dont have proves that pele kiss  the ass of fifa. in a tv show, maradona and pele show there skills who has better heeding, pele beats maradona, if you dont bealave watch here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSRz3IZKhUg.all the legends like cruyff,Beckenbeur,di stefano voted pele and maradona voted by the fans.end of story

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @ZIZOU THE MAGICIAN the bold big letters proves that you are indeed a barking retard who has not watched a single match of football in his entire life..

 

there is no point in arguing with such a rubbish like you who measures a football player by how many awards he has won and not by his impact and natural skills... the meaningless awards which was given to pele by IOC, BBC was due to the fact that pele was the biggest POSTER BOY of football media.. pele always rubbed his dick with Corporate bastards of FIFA,BBC,IOC,IFFHS.. and so by default, these organizations gave hilarious awards like "personality of the century" to their favorite servant.. Maradona, on the other hand, had tremendous enmity with the media and FIFA... yes the internet poll was a little skewed BUT pele came second in that poll.. it's not like that zidane came ahead of pele,, fans still did remember the 1970 WC but maradona in 1986 WC swept aside everything in history.. Individually,, no one ever reached the level of maradona and that is why MAJORITY of the fans saw Maradona greater than pele..

 

there was no "world player of the year" award in the 60s so your claim that pele was best player in these specific years is absolutely rubbish.. in the 60s, Garrincha,Eusebio,George Best played on the same level as pele did..

 

who did maradona played with??? valdano,careca,burruchaga,giordino.. these players are good but they are nothing compared to legends like Carlos Alberto,Rivelino,garrincha,vava,didi,tostao,gerson who assisted pele in every step.. Maradona never had such luxury and he didn't even need such luxury.. Maradona  still played at a level in which pele couldn't even dream to play...Maradona also became the greatest captain in history as he captained argentina to 2 WC finals and have captained all the clubs he played.. pele never had to guts to captain his team for even once.. those who were around maradona said that he was the greatest player beyond doubt.. even 80-year olds like trevor edwards,Di Stefano said maradona was greater than pele.. brazilians like Rivaldo,Ronaldinho,Roberto Carlos idolized maradona..

 

you obviously don't have the capacity to understand my words as you clearly have some mental issues.. i suggest you pour out your hidden love for pele in some other website but not here..  your baseless comments have ruined the environment of this great website...

andyzidane
andyzidane

@adamrhbrown @snakehips the boy @Tanvir 86 's posts have been littered with bizarre comments for many many months now. I personally believe that Maradona is the greatest footballer of all time and prefer other Brazilians (such as Ronaldo) to Pele; but everyone is entitled to their own opinion without facing Tubby's abuse.

adamrhbrown
adamrhbrown

 @snakehips  @Tanvir 86 Thanks. It's also worth mentioning that even if Pele could be said to have cuddled up to the military dictatorship, why does di Stefano never come in for the same vitriol from Mr. T? He was used by Franco's regime in much the same way, and he wasn't even Spanish!

 

As it happens, I watched the documentary Pele and Garrincha - Gods of Brazil a couple of days ago. It made the point that Garrincha wasn't always popular while he was actually alive, certainly in the latter part of his career.

 

Plus, there was the footage of Pele scoring his '1,000th goal'. Media myth or not, he took that moment to speak out - passionately - on behalf of starving children. Hardly the words of someone who had sold his soul entirely.

 

Don't get me wrong, Pele is a bit of a corporate whore (there's even a joke in The Simpsons about it), but he's not evil.

 

By the way, 'Menotti didn't pick Maradona because he was a Pele-lover'. What a bizarre statement. Clearly, he was very much a Didi man.

ronaldofenomenon
ronaldofenomenon

 @Tanvir 86 maybe my english is not so good  but  you cant avoid the truth,cruyff,beckebauer,platini,di stefano,zico said pele, all this players kiss the ass of fifa?hahahaha.you can say anything you want but you dont proove a thing.

ronaldofenomenon
ronaldofenomenon

 @Tanvir 86  again and again you dont aswer in my question about pele kiss the ass of fifa and you fall to see in this symple video that maradona lose,you can talk trash every time but you dont proove nothing,1970 pele do the greatest skill ever, maranona never do something like that,in the era off pele, the ball was more harder to control than maradona era,who is harry1996, maybe someone who support pele?i dont give a shit.i just say my option,but there are more important thinks in life about pele and maradona

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @ronaldofenomenon  you are that same troll by the name of Harry1996,,, changing names won't hide your retarded character..

 

as i've said many times before,, if you love pele so much then give him a call.. Make love with him using the cheapest viagras and then post the videos on youtube.. this site is for those people who can debate both subjectively and objectively using their vast knowledge about the rich history of football and not by posting pathetic rubbish youtube videos.. thus, you are not eligible to comment on this site by default..So stop wasting time and make that call to Pele before he runs to FIFA to sleep with Beckenbeur....

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @ronaldofenomenon  you are that same troll by the name of Harry1996,,, changing names won't hide your retarded character..

 

as i've said many times before,, if you love pele so much then give him a call.. Make love with him using the cheapest viagras and then post the videos on youtube.. this site is for those people who can debate both subjectively and objectively using their vast knowledge about the rich history of football and not by posting pathetic rubbish youtube videos.. thus, you are not eligible to comment on this site by default..So stop wasting time and make that call to Pele before he runs to FIFA to sleep with Beckenbeur....

 

ronaldofenomenon
ronaldofenomenon

 @Tanvir 86 this show was the year 2000 maradona was 40 and pele was 60, you  blame maradona every time,the video show that maradona lose the ball and again you said that maradona is greater than pele,you said that pele kiss the ass off fifa and all the biggest football organizations but you dont prove it,if you watch the brazilian ronaldo dribbble skills and technique is far more better than maradona,i think the only part that maradona is better than pele is the free kicks.

Tanvir 86
Tanvir 86

 @ronaldofenomenon HAHAHAHA.... what a pathetic video.. oh wow, a 73-year old pele has better ball control than a 53-year old Maradona,, so that makes him a greater player????????????!!!!!!!

 

Pele himself said DiStefano is the greatest player of all time... Messi?? Cristiano Ronaldo??? even a 10-year old boy having an average knowledge about football history will say that Pele is greater than these two.. But when it was asked to Distefano about Pele AND maradona,, He picked Maradona... Beckenbeur shares the bed with pele in FIFA and they also ran Viagra campaigns together.. so it is a no-brainer that beckenbeur would vote for his lifetime partner.. the legends who were not slaves to FIFA ,,they all said that maradona is the greatest..

 

You can now masturbate by watching that hilarious video.. Trolls like you have no place in this great site...

ronaldofenomenon
ronaldofenomenon

 @andyzidane  @Tanvir 86 maybe you dont understand my worlds, the video shows that pele has better ball control and proves his better that maradona,yes maradona is one of the best ever but pele is better, just  symple if you watch the video

nismoz
nismoz

 @ronaldofenomenon  @Tanvir 86 @ Ronaldofenomenon, instead of judging a players true strength based on other retired footballers comments, why dont u use ur brain and watch the standard of football in Pele's era? did u ever ask urself the question if gk even used gloves back in the 60s? did 4-2-4 formation play a major factor in helping the attacking team? did man marking even exist back then? have u even watched a game of the champs league in the 60s? how many subs were allowed in each game when pele was playing? how many games did Pele really played in 1962 wc? when u find out all the answers for that question i suggest u watch the serie a matches that Maradona played in Napoli in the late 80s and do a serious comparison on the defence both players faced! Real Madrid could win 5 champs league in the late 50s but no team has even come close to it since. what does that tell u? Football standards has gone up 3 notch since Pele's days!