Pele: If I am the King, Messi is the Prince

Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
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Lionel Messi and Barcelona have held off all comers for another La Liga title, and the Argentine superstar is quite widely considered the best player of his generation (with apologies to Cristiano Ronaldo backers).

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But when you account for inter-generational comparisons, Pele says hold on one minute: Messi isn’t the best player in his country’s history.


“If I am the king, then Messi has been the prince over the past 15 years,” Pele told La Vanguardia. “I cannot call him the king, because there is only one king. I believe that Alfredo Di Stefano was the most complete of the Argentine stars, he was more complete than [Diego] Maradona and Messi.

“I am glad that I played in my era, even if it’s true everything is more simple now. Players like Di Stefano and I are not as well-known because there are far fewer recordings of our performances.”