Pele Offers Humorous Response to Age-Old 'Maradona or Pele?' Debate

Wednesday September 6th, 2017

Legendary Brazilian striker Pele has joked that he will always be viewed as a "better" player than fellow former South American superstar Diego Maradona.

Pele spoke exclusively to Goal during an event that saw 20 competition winners play football with the Santos legend, and revealed why he was held in higher esteem than the virtuoso Argentina icon.

Football fans have argued at length over which player should be viewed as the greatest of all-time and, after Maradona played down Pele's own achievements in football in a book that was published last year, the former marksman offered his own verdict on who should be viewed as the best out of the pair.

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He quipped: "I can’t explain why Maradona is so concerned with that, because I always say that he was one of the best in the world, and that’s true.

"Now, we can’t say that Maradona was a great header. He didn’t score goals with headers. And we cannot say Maradona shot very well with both feet, because he didn’t shoot with his right, only mainly with his left…

"So from time to time, when people make comparisons, I make jokes about that. For me he was a great player, just that you can’t compare Maradona with Pele."

Pele and Maradona have often snapped at one another throughout the years as discussion over their respective talents and success has been debated.

Maradona has often derided Pele's own achievements in the game, while the three-time World Cup winner has spoken out about the forward being a terrible role model to children over his drug abuse.

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Pele did, however, tell Goal that he considered the 56-year-old Maradona to be a good friend of his and stated that their quarrels since their respective retirements were all in good humour really.

He added: "We are friends. We are always joking. I always say to him: ‘Maradona, you can be level with Pele when you have scored more than 1,000 goals' and he says: ‘I can’t now, but it doesn’t matter!’"

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