‘He only has one skill’: Pele literally puts shade over Leo Messi
- Updated: December 6, 2018
While ambitious players move away to different clubs to come out of his shade, Lionel Messi was shrugged off by all-time football great Pele. The Brazilian icon seemed to not be a great fan of the five-time Balon d’Or winner, citing he only had one skill. Despite clinching the La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the Pichichi trophy last season, Lionel Messi astonishingly finished 5th on the Balon d’Or list behind the winner Luka Modric followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
In an interview with Folha de S.Paulo, Pelé was asked what he thought of those who said Messi was the best ever. First, he was diplomatic, calling it a “matter of taste.” But he questioned the comparison, asking, “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, doesn’t head the ball well?” He continued: “How can you compare? To compare with Pelé, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers.”
Pelé even went to the length of comparing his rival and former Argentine legend, Diego Maradona, to contrast with Messi. “You will ask me,” the Brazilian said, “was [Maradona] better than Messi? Yes, by a lot. Much better.”
Lionel Messi is widely considered to be the greatest of his generation with a battle against him and Cristiano Ronaldo. But the Argentine’s failure to grab any silverware with his nation has drawn him a lot of flak. Messi led Argentina to the final of FIFA 2014 World Cup, Copa America 2015 and the Copa America Centenario in 2016, but lost all three finals. On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo could land a UEFA Euro Cup for his nation in 2016.
Diego Maradona had lambasted on Messi back in October. “Don’t worship Messi anymore. Messi at Barcelona is one thing, and with Argentina, he is another one.”
Contrastingly, Pele was highly in awe with the Barcelona star in 2015 claiming, “In my opinion, in the last ten years,” he said then, “the best player in the world was Messi, no doubt.”