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Messi Isn’t A Footballing Great...Apparently!
Footytubeblog (Blog) 5 years ago
Far from me to criticise arguably the most decorated footballer of all time but some of the drivel coming out of Pele’s mouth in the past few days has frustrated me greatly. The Brazilian claims that you can only be considered a true footballing great if you do it on the world stage; therefore ruling out the likes of Lionel Messi and Georgie Best. It is a baffling viewpoint to say the least, but typical of a man who refutes suggestions that a certain player may well be seen as better than him.

Pele is a football legend and deserves all the plaudits and accolades that come his way, but I have always found there to be a bitter undercurrent whenever he talks about the game. His ridiculous view that Yohan Cruyff was a far better player than Diego Maradona, as the Argentine only had one foot and was no good in the air, shows a man clearly bitter at past suggestions that Maradona was the better player of the two.

I never understand the way pundits, media and in this case bitter ex-footballers attempt to make comparisons with players, and the era in which they play. While Pele certainly excelled in World Cups, he certainly had an array of top class players around him that was able to give him that freedom of the park. Someone like Maradona and to a lesser extent Zinedine Zidane carried their respective nations to World Cup success singlehandedly, making their achievements even more spectacular. Pele needs to realise that he was blessed to be born a Brazilian and play alongside some of the great footballers of their time, rather than dismiss the credentials of players who haven’t been so fortunate. I am sure if Lionel Messi had an Argentine Iniesta and Xavi alongside him then you would see the best from him, in much the same way Pele benefited from the likes of Carlos Alberto and Garrincha.

Maybe I am alone in my thinking and many of you will agree with Pele’s barometer of what you have to achieve to be a considered a great within the game, but I just feel the viewpoint is flawed. As I mentioned it would be hard to not accept that the likes of Best and even Ryan Giggs cannot be considered on the top table of world footballers, based solely on the lack of success of their respective countries. I also question as to whether International football is actually the real test it once was and whether the Champions League as a tournament has now taken over as the real measure of player achievements – it is certainly a better leveller. If we take Spain out of the equation and look back to the World Cup winning teams of the last 30yrs I wonder how many of them would have been good enough to beat Barcelona’s current Champions League winning team.

Lionel Messi is by far the greatest player on the planet at present and although the Argentine national team hasn’t got the team set-up to bring the best from him; his achievements and performance for Barcelona in the past few years must ensure that he is included among the greats of world football - regardless of what Pele thinks.

Blog by Jay Simmons

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
TheBarcaShow (Footytube Staff) 5 years ago
I truly think that Pele is afraid to lose his place in football and that is why he has been so harsh of Messi (Other than the fact that he is Argentine)

In Pele's day surely the World Cup was the greatest footballing honor to win as most domestic leagues were still considerably filled by domestic players. In modern football surely the Champions League is of greater quality than the World Cup.

The teams in the Champions league are of higher caliber while each team is able to develop chemistry instead of forcing all the team building into a few short weeks each year.

Anyways I also believe that Lionel Messi has the advantage of playing in modern football which is more publicized around the world. The way that Lionel Messi has been dominating the modern game is watched by every football fan around the world while Pele on the other hand doesn't have much video footage to hold his legacy intact
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Pele never played in europe which is the pinnacle of football, you don't always get the worlds best players in the world cup.... Ie: george best, as a lot of players are actually from countries lucky to make the world cup finals, so pele himself never played in europe, forget the world cup.
Today's champions league and the old european cup is a better competition featuring better players and less of the crap players.
I don't think pele feels he would loss his place at the top table to lionel messi, its maybe because he's argentian.... Lol
Pele DID say george best WAS the best player he ever seen, and he said it again recently on a talksport radio interview, when asked about the greats, george best again was the first name on his lips.
Maybe its his age and he doesent know what he's saying anymore.... Lol
Messi to me is a wonderful player, as is ronaldo, I think I am one of the few that doesn't bother about the messi v ronaldo whos best argument, I can enjoy watching both, and do.
Pushed? .... I would rather watch messi, I think like best he's a natural, ronaldo as much as I like him looks a touch robotic to me, where messi does things instinctively.
But I DO enjoy watching both.
Messi already is a footballing great, no matter what pele says
Peteko 5 years ago
You are right about one thing. Maradona certainly carried his nation to the world triumph "singlehandedly"
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
And poor george best had the bad fortune to be born in a tiny country were the rest of his team mates were on a different wavelength, and it showed when he played for northern ireland, he was playing balls the rest couldn't even read, it was embarrassing at times, and made george look bad as well.
But it has been often said in these parts, had george been born brazilian we would have been asking.... Who's pele? .... True that
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Heres a radio interview with pele only last week on talksport radio if anyone cares to listen?

Deepu7 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
But back then europe wasn'the pinnacle of football.... South americans were really dominant.... And still now the fact that every european team has atleat two or three brazilians in their first 11 underlines the quality of the brazilians....
As a matter of fact I would say europe never got hold off pele.... That means europe wasn't always best. Pele is a legend. And garrincha didn't play in europe.... European football is well marketed and attracts players mainly because of the money involved.... If brazilians and argentinians satyed back in south america and played in their league then I'm certain their league would have been the best....
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Pardon me, I thought Europe was always the pinnacle? Di Stefano left South America to play in Europe. Maradona, Ricky Villa went to Europe. Top class South Americans had plied their trades in Europe. Pele went where? USA. You mean to tell us when he decided he had enough of the 'best' league in the world and decided to switch to 'second' grade competition, USA was superior to Europe? C'mon.

The fact remains that he never faced the different culture, different challenge, and different style of football in his prime. (The less than 10 games per world cup experience is probably a holiday experience to him)He's probably to scared and too much in his comfort zone that he doesn't want to experience any failures.

At Santos, in Brazil he's King. In Europe at that time, there's Eusebio, there's Best, and there's Charlton. After 70s, there's Beckenbauer, Muller, and there's Cruyff. Stars in their own rights. Why does he choose to stay in Brazil? Purely because he sincerely believes Brazilian league is the best? Why doesn't he want to play against the best in the world? He's already the 'king' of Brazil, why is his ambition so low? Why doesn't he wanted to conquer Europe? Because Brazilian league is superior? Isn't that myopic? South American leagues has been messy for so many years. Big clubs gets all the leeway, rules changed to save their arse, Brazilian state championships(there's so many of them) are waste of time, only their National championship counts.

Just because this one Pele doesn't moves to Europe does not discount the continent. There are countless arguably more talented footballers in Di Stefano and Maradona that stepped foot on the continent. Players that in other fans' eyes the greatest ever. Your "matter of fact" statement seems myopic to me.
Deepu7 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
You can argue about that.... But think about it.... Why do you think stefano and likes of him went to europe? .... The sole reason I could think of is the money.... Lifestyle.... Look at the world cup squads of brazil back in the golden era.... Nilton santos, carlos alberto, tostao, rivelino all payed back in brazil.... Not in europe.... If it was not for money and better lifestyle european football wouldn't have benefited.... Take messi, he migrated to catalunia as his country clubs couldn't pay for his treatment.... European football is marketed well, financed well and attracts a lot of american as well as african players.... Major league soccer does not come close to european leagues.... That's right.... I have no objection in that.... I've only said that europe haven't been the pinnacle always.... Europe have missed a lot of great players...
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
All I can say is that in that era, 50s to 70s, its not common for Brazilians to venture out. Whether or not its for the money or football, its just not common. After 80s, you can say the exodus starts and it never stops. The flow of Brazilian footballers to Europe only slowed down now(2010s onwards) because Brazil real(currency) is strong now. But when its just not a common scenario, it doesn't enhance Brazil's league as superior to Europe.

I'll give you an example. Neymar. He hasn't went Europe right? Main reason, Santos has the sponsors to keep him there. But if he plays his football his whole life in Brazil and win a couple of world cup, are you gonna' proclaim Europe is weaker than Brazilian league because they can't get Neymar? Brazil are always gonna' be challenging for world cups with the quality of the players they churn out. But even if Neymar was to be the next KING of Brazil, and he stays in Brazil all his life, and Messi never wins the world cup, I think we'll still all agree that in this timeline, this era, Messi is better, Europe is pinnacle. The same scenario happens with Pele. Never played against the likes of Eusebio or Best on common basis makes this argument weak
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Europe became the pinnacle with the advent of the European Cups (both international and club), just over 50 yrs ago. This, along with wealth and quality of life, has made them an attractive venue for one to ply one's trade. Before then, it was mostly the South Americans, who had a very attractive style of play. Too bad they didn't have (and still don't have) the to wealth and the quality of life to attract and sustain players
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Before Argentina founded their FA,(Link: ) England are playing their first league and FA cup. Brazil formed in 1914, this made their history even shorter. England before Hungary beat them in a friendly was undisputed king of football for 90 years.(Link: (1953) Brazil and company hasn't yet made the impact on the world until 1958 when they won WC on foreign soil. Which is still a remarkable achievement in today's world. However, that still didn't say anything that Brazil and their fellow south americans rule before the first European cup was formed. Not unless you are alive in that period, lived in both continent and watched all football games.(Then maybe your views will be utterly correct then.) We could argue historians are a cruel bunch(since Brazil's history in football only started so late), but to be the pinnacle in less than 30 years(since Brazil was formed in 1914 and you mentioned Europe became pinnacle only in 1950s with the intro of Euro cup) is a ridiculous statement. Its only my opinion here, but Brazil started football at least 20 years later than Europe but became the pinnacle of football reference the moment they are formed just doesn't makes sense
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
You have made three major logical fallacies and one historical error. The first fallacy is that you cannot say because England was the "undisputed king of football for 90 years, " therefore Europe was always at the pinnacle, which seems to be your implication. England is not Europe. You can't take one country and say the whole continent is developed or at a pinnacle. Second, you made a straw man argument; I did not say, nor imply that South America was the pinnacle of football. In fact, I said they had a more attractive style of play, but did not have "the wealth and the quality of life to attract and sustain players. " Furthermore, not because football existed in England prior to its incipience in South America (and I am aware that the Brits brought football to South America), does not, by necessity, means that England was better (qualitatively speaking). Chinese Civilization existed long before European Civilization, but no one would argue that it is better (again, qualitatively speaking).

Now, the historical error lies in the fact that you measured South American success with Brazil winning the 1958 World Cup. Need I remind you that it was the South Americans, Uruguay at the helm, who were dominant on the international stage? There success carried over from the Olympic games into the nascence of the World Cup. I don't have the sources on me now, but they were hailed for their unique style of play, which was to what I was referring. Europe, as a continent, was not considered much until mid to later parts of the 20th century. I don't know but the world wars in Europe may have retarded their development a bit
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
First the 90 years was not by me. Blame Wiki. . They weren't beaten by foreign teams for that long. King or not, irrelevant. That's just spice added by me.

Second. That's opinion. How do you know they are more attractive when you have not watched them and compared them to Europe's play?

Third. I know who won the inaugural world cup. But world cup before 1958 triumphs are all won in their respective continents. That's what made Brazil looks good. No one is capable of that except Brazil(Make that Spain now). Brazil is good. The national team. The league? As the pinnacle compared to Europe? No. Quality, if you say 1958 yes. Before that? How would you know they played quality football? I've not argued on quality at all. Its all able the highest point of football - where is it being played? South Americans played in their own leagues. Copa Liber was created 1960s onwards. Where is all the football being played?

Btw, "Need I remind you that it was the South Americans, Uruguay at the helm, who were dominant on the international stage? There success carried over from the Olympic games into the nascence of the World Cup. "
This sentence and this: "England is not Europe. You can't take one country and say the whole continent is developed or at a pinnacle. " What's the diff? Uruguay can helm South America's success but England can't gloat their undefeated record as Europe? Huh?

I guess we can't come to a conclusion with this huh. Whether I'm right or wrong it doesn't matter. I just don't feels like it that Pele(the so called king of football) belittled footballers (just because he achieved success through an easier avenue(He's surrounded by superhuman footballers himself in that era (tostao and Jairzinho much much better players than him))), and someone argued that because this lucky dud skipped Europe, Europe was deemed not the pinnacle? Hmm...
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Well, I used to watch a lot of documentaries and read a lot of books about the game and its developments, that's how I know; I don't have to be there to watch the games. But I want to clarify that the major European Championships was/are certainly a variable in promoting the game in Europe, and the world, even
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Likewise. But Brazilian league are really horrible to watch at times. I'm not talking about then, I'm saying 1990s. But still, with their National team winning World cup 94, the league standard is horrible. If only Flamengo and Sao Paulo are worth watching then. I can't imagine before that
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
On "Uruguay at the helm, " I was not saying that they are the only ones, but one of....
Also, I agree with you that it is a fallacy to say because Pele "skipped' Europe means Europe was not at the pinnacle. There are various reasons why players choose their own domestic leagues. Only Pele knows why he did not play, or perhaps did not wanted to play in Europe. It's a personal choice I think. Would it make a difference if he played in Europe? I think that's one for the scholars and pundits!
Baller89 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Europe wasn't the pinnacle of football during Peles era like it is now, he truly is one of the worlds greatest players suggesting otherwise is ludacris, he also was ahead of his time his skill and goals was unprecedented. That being said succes in your national team is one thing but you at least have to perform messi don't hold the same standard in any other team besides barcelona that being said he's still one of the best football players of all time and deserves his place in the history books. Pastore, Dimaria, Macherano, Higuain, Messi and Aguero How can one fail to be successful with this team is beyond me
BlakSonGunna (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Interesting argument about who's who in football and y'all fellaz big thingz about football. But listening to the interview; just don't know why Pele is being attacked.... He recognises Messi as big #NoDoubt but then again the gaps he must feel to be world best of all time.... Humble enough to recognise that there is more good players out there countless to Mention.... I have watched Messi, watched documentaries on Pele and Maradona.... And no matter which continent was at the pinacle. I think Pele comes tops. Y'all got dig his pace, and less protection the best player recieved from refs.... And not because Pele was black but in football terms he was in some-level-else. That said - one player that's my top top is Zizou, say what Zidane.... Apart from the temper.... But he had all the grace of an angel playing football. I can say more. Zizou
Seanf24 (Real Madrid) 5 years ago
Pele afraid to loose the fame as the best player in football? Lool
Pele's fame and high reputation in football has survived many years and will continue to survive.
For him Messi is another player.
Messi to him is not a contender.
Pele is actually protecting the reputation of the present Brazillian football talent.
I am sure he knows the Brazillian football level has gone down whilst the Argentinian went up, so of course he's gonna' make some contradictory comments.
I too agree with Pele and believe that if a player is really good then that player needs to prove himself at every club that he plays at and at the national team too, as a matter of fact it's quite logic, to be honest I don't know what the fuss is in that comment.
Excellent footballers like Pele, Maradonna, Cruyff, Zidane, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, and the list goes on.... Proved their excellent ability by winning trophies for every team they played, including the national side.
I am sure that every single one of those players that I mentioned did not go for the money, and could have easily stayed their whole career at one club, but they went for more success and wanted to prove themselves and at the same time they wanted to shut the critics up, so they kept moving around and winning trophies for all the clubs they played for.
It's again logic, as a matter of fact if I were a professional footballer I would have done the exact thing, so I would shut the critics up and prove to be one of the best.

BartoZZ10 (AC Milan) 5 years ago
I must say that this article reflects my point of view almost entirely. It is very obvious for every football fan in the world that Messi's skill are of the best quality, and comparable with the hall fame likes. Problem is that whenever someone will argue about him being the best, he will always face the argument of him not wining on the international stage. Messi is still very young player therefore I am sure he will achieve this type of glory, probably not far from now. As for Pele, well.... He clearly shows that he was born to play football, not talk about it
Rubin (Inter Milan) 5 years ago
It's always difficult to compare and rate players that have played at different times and in my opinion it's pointless. I don't care if Messi is better than Maradona or Pele ever were. Messi is definitely one of the greatest football players in the game and he'll be a football legend. That's all that matters. Don't try to rate players among each other
BoboRed (Leeds United) 5 years ago
Just what this site needs, another thread on Messi. Hell, lets stick one on the front page!
Totaldribble 5 years ago
I think players can be judged against each other fairly. Just look at the comparison everyday between Ronaldo and Messi. But it is fairer to compare teams.
Would any team EVER be able to beat Barcelona's current squad on their day?
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Let me try, Arrigo Sacchi's AC Milan?
Totaldribble 5 years ago
Fair shout, but when they won the back to back European cups they didn't even win the Serie did they? In fact, I'm sure they finished 3rd in 88?
To be fair though that was when the Italian league was the best in the world.... In my opinion
Rubin (Inter Milan) 5 years ago
My father is a fan of Dutch football. He says Barcelona is not as good as Ajax with Cruyff when they won 3 European Cups in a row. So, it's a matter of opinion. I haven't seen Ajax play, so I really don't know if Barca is the best team of all time, even though I like to think it is so
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
@dribble, they won it the previous year. They stopped the one man train of Napoli - which is driven by the incomparable Maradona. Arrigo Sacchi's total football is arguably the hardest to play in the world though. So when its in its full glory, it crash through anything that tries to block it. The thing is, this ideal of 25m or yard(I can't rem clearly enuf) between strikers to defenders (effectively choking space)can't achieve consistency year after year. And with the liberalization of the offside law must work in the modern team's favor - Barca. But if the offside law were the same during their time, Barca can't spear any through ball without invoking high number of offsides.

Here's what the guru said:Link:
Davian (Arsenal) 5 years ago
I agree with juno, there have been rule changes that have helped the modern teams especially on the attacking side. I think it is pointless to compare players and teams from different eras. With training advancements, rule changes and referees temperament will make it hard to decipher who is truly the best. We just need to appreciate the greats and enjoy the magic they weave...
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Outside of that they played on pitches that were like paddy fields or so bobbly the ball was all over the place, plus the ball was about three times heavier when it was wet, totally different game from the game we know today, and we had the back pass back in the day
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
But that was acceptable back then.... Lol, football has gone soft, its fast becoming non contact and boring, it seems any tackle now is a yellow card
Totaldribble 5 years ago
As well as double footed tackles
GotIbra (AC Milan) 5 years ago
I just saw clips of Zidane single handedly orchestrating his national sides to dismantle great international teams full of wpoty candidates, he was literally making everyone on his team play like himself.... Ie a maestro.... So yes, Messi isn't a great.... Yet
Ihkhan (Real Madrid) 5 years ago
Agree with you on this point.... Great players motivate others around them to play at a level which is higher than what they are capable of.... Like Zidane did for this France side, Like Maradona did with his Argentina.... Messi is no doubt a great player, but he still has lots to prove before he can be counted amongst the greatest ever. (he has age on his side, he can still prove all of us wrong.... But till he does that I will rate him as a great player not among the greatest)
Ihkhan (Real Madrid) 5 years ago
5 years ago
Desperate call there buddy. Zidane is nowhere near as good as Messi. I say Zidane is just as good as Xavi. The thing is Zidane had a complete team. He was in the middle with Viera and had players like Henry, and Trezeguet to pass the ball to who were goal scoring machines and were on the same wave length since the whole team played European football half in France and the other half in Italy. Of course they're going to be amazing not all the credit goes to Zidane.

Messi with Argentina plays amazing. His vision is just on a whole different level. Too bad its a team of selfish forwards, no Midfielders to create chances, and no defence tell me Zidane would have won a World cup with todays Argentina? Of course not
Yashioman (Liverpool) 5 years ago
^Nowhere near as good as Messi? Can you be more specific? I have seen you all over this site with some opinions that are simply mindblowing.... Its like your brain has been completely abused. From all the comments I have seen this is just hysterical. Please read this next statement at least 75 times: Zidane's technique (IN ALL areas) and vision, tactical awareness, mentality etc are the light of the sun on a clear March morning compared to Messi, at his best EVER (which may even be in the future), being candlelight. Thierry Henry in his peak was eons past Messi will be. Tevez Aguero Higuain are all goal scoring machines as you mentioned Trezeguet and Henry. They have Cambiasso Pastore Mascherano; a bunch of greats. Take this in: it comes down to you not wanting to or not having the capacity to admit that this is just a phase. Saviola in his prime was even better than Messi and it didn't last long. Michael Owen in his prime could teach Messi a thing or a thousand. Tired of typing now so obey the facts, not the emotions
Yashioman (Liverpool) 5 years ago
May I add: I love how this is on your profile -Dislikes = "People Ignorant to a topic they try arguing about. People with too much Pride. A lot of fans who argue stupid and biased topics. "

Sounds like you buddy, sounds like you. I actually dislike those things too, which is why I am on your case. One thing I dislike and even hate: hypocrites. Goodnight fella):[
Seanf24 (Real Madrid) 5 years ago
This Barcelonian does not know what he's talking about, or he does but would not admit it.
Zidane was one of the best in the game and as skill and technique wise Messi does not come close.
Back in the past Xavi was shadowed by the lights of Zidane and Figo, and yet you say Xavi as good as Zidane.... Lol
Argentina and Brazil are one of the very few teams that can field up to 3 squads that can compete for a trophy and win it.
I also don't like biased hypocrites.
With that lack of reality and ignorance, the reality will hit you in life as well.
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Maybe your first 3 lines are right, maybe. That's up to individual. I like Zidane, and I would consider him better in some sense. But Messi's and Xavi's playmaking skills has come leap and bounds under Guardiola.

But the thing I really need to mention is nowadays, Brazil's first team is still strong, but not necessary title contenders. An attack of Robinho, Hulk, Pato and Neymar seems great, and good backline suggest Brazil is good, but looking at their midfield? Nah. Can't dominate any top class opponents at this moment; Argentina. Argentina can't even field a first 11 of balance team. Attack rich and defence awfully poor. Messi, Tevez and Aguero seems to play in the exact same position. At any one time, the most you can expect is 2 out of three. To complement this two attackers, you might have Di Maria and Higuain, but Argentina is worse of than Brazil here. No competent creative midfielders(Pastore never held the first team position), a midfield made up of slow combatant, with the backline unrecognisable on international front. Horrible balance.

Either way. Brazil and Argentina can't field up to 2 squads to compete, let alone 3
Seanf24 (Real Madrid) 5 years ago
The only thing Zidane does not have which Messi has, is speed.
While Messi does not have as good technique and skill as Zidane has.
Brazil and Argentina have many goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers to field that could win a competition, but it's all up to how well the manager runs the particular team
[account-removed] 5 years ago
In all fairness claiming argentina to not be good enough to get the best outa messi is a tad bit unrealistic. The national offensive line up is about as good as it can get. Pastore alvarez mascherano aguero higuain.... I mean if your "world class" these team mates are more than you need. Then again after watching him play for barca its hard to deny that he is one of all time greats
Totaldribble 5 years ago
Very true you look at that squad, you also have Tevez, Lavezzi, Milito, Heinze, Gutiérrez, Di Maria
And then players who can't make the squad like Riquelme, Zanetti and Cambiasso
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 5 years ago
The thing is, that yes, these players are all phenominal, but how many are really good playmakers, and how many are out and out finishers? Herein lies the problem. Pastore is a brilliant playmaker to be fair, and alvarez still has lots of time to develop, but other than that, Cambiasso, Gago, Mascherano; they're all defensive minded midfielders. Great tacklers, and good with distribution, but not great. Then you have Di Maria, Lavezzi, Aguero; Dribblers, and exceptional ones at that. This isn't to say that they can't still play that killer pass, but let's be fair, they are the same basic types of player that Messi is. Then you have Higuain and Milito.... Milito not so much anymore because his form has dipped recently.... Who are pure finishers. I'm not mentioning Tevez, because he is a different type of player alltogether. Point is, that there is no real in between that has been tested much with Messi on the pitch
There are defensive midfielders, and forward players. Once Pastore and Alvarez start playing more, this will change
[account-removed] 5 years ago
I completely agree with yer point. But just that when your "the best in the world". The chances that the above mentioned players(how the hell did I forget di maria.... lol) provide should be good enough. I mean when me and most of the world said sheva was the best striker in the world, he did the best possible he could with a much weaker ukraine squad.

Also to be clear I do not think messi is sub world class. It is just a very big mystery for me(his international form). I mean when you look at him play you get the feeling he can Literally do anything. To be frank sometimes when you see him in form you think he can own playing for san marino.... Its just very confusing
Deepu7 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
The fact is that argentina is a team with world class players but not a world class team like germany or spain.... They are more like england.... Star studded but not glued in as a team.... Ther's somethin missing...
Deepu7 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
The fact is that argentina is a team with world class players but not a world class team like germany or spain.... They are more like england.... Star studded but not glued in as a team.... Ther's somethin missing...
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
True. Very true. Star studded but not a team
Araz (Queens Park Rangers) 5 years ago
National teams are restricted by the fact that they can only select players from single countries, clubs have no such restriction so IMO winning top club honours in Europe is just as resectable as winning them on the national stage if not more, and the World's best club sides, are in theory better than the world's best national teams because they can pick and chose the best players from any country.... If they can get them.

Pele just wants to keep his place as the best ever, but it's worth noting that there were only 16 nations represented at the world cups Pele played in 1958 - 1970 and that the standard of competition was very different to now. I think today there are many more competitive nations, players are fitter and more professional and therefore if anything the game is harder to play today and won on smaller margins than it was back then so if anything players who can maintain Pele-like numbers deserve even more credit
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 5 years ago
"the World's best club sides, are in theory better than the world's best national teams because they can pick and chose the best players from any country"

Not only that, but they also train and practically live together all year long while the national teams get together for a few days several times a year
Peteko 5 years ago
Maybe he said it only because Messi is Argentinian, but Pele should know how to stay above this kind of talk.

I doubt that Pele will ever be replaced from the apogee of the world football. Just like The Beatles, he is one of the first globalized media stars and will remain at the top, no matter what.

And I agree with Haste above that Argentina had a team full of stars, who don't deserve to take the blame for Messi's or Maradona's failure to excel in 2010. Messi was also a bit unlucky then, if you believe that he was really sick during the tournament and they had to call his mother for some very effective family treatment.

A more interesting question would be: do you believe Messi would excel similarly if moved to another big club?
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Demensia's a terrible thing.... Lol
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Maybe the viagra's gone to his head? .... Lol
FifaXX (Napoli) 5 years ago
You mean the Viagra has sucked all the blood from his head....
[account-removed] 5 years ago
It is a tricky question.... Tbh. I thought sheva would tear it up at chelsea.... Din happen. But I do think messi in a class team(top 3 in any league). Can make it work. Sometimes I wonder how much better would messi be at a club who focus on counter attacking.... His speed critical thinking and ability to beat players.... Just want to see him tear accross half the pitch to score.... Don get to see tat at barca,
HangTime (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Messi is no doubt a top player with pele up there. Messi's only downfall is not winning much or anything at the national level. Argentina is not a bad team, they have Mascherano, Tevez, Aguero, ect. Yet, they aren't doing so well playing against other national team. Like Peteko say, maybe we need to see Messi with a different club. See if Messi will perform as good if he is playing with Arsenal, Chelsea, Milan, United, City...
Mad93 (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Is just that Argentina is not playing around messi, if they start playing as a team like maybe Barcelona styled, then maybe Messi will start scoring alot of goals
Mark99 (Sporting Kansas City) 5 years ago
Messi is awesome!
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Though I agree with the observations the article makes--that Pele's criticisms signify a kind of bitterness (I rather say envy, resentment perhaps), or fear perhaps, of losing his Kingly status, I don't agree with its rhetoric--a suspicious belittling of the World Cup. This rhetoric is most apparent in the responses of TheBarcaShow and Tony. Their arguments that European competitions, such as the Champions League, is of better quality than the World Cup is poor. The World Cup is the greatest stage on which a player has the chance of showing his qualities; after all, it is viewed by billions around the world and it gives a sense of pride and honour to those most skilled to represent their country--it's a place the best players in the world meet, and where the best players have something to prove.

I am not discrediting other tournaments, most certainly not the Champions League, as bastions of quality, but they are not yet on a par with the World Cup. How many players have made their names on the world stage? Most, if not all, of the legends/greats of the game shone at some point at the World Cup, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Zidane, Ballack, etc. to name a few. The World Cup is the most coveted trophy in the world (this point is moot if you're considering sports in general), and there is a reason for that--it is extremely difficult to win, and it comes around every four years, if you don't win, let alone qualify, or even make the team this time round, there is no guarantee that you'll get another chance.

The central argument, or rhetorical purview then, should be that Pele is still living in the age of type writers, and where black-and-white TVs are just beginning to make way for the novel colour TVs. In other words, Pele should accept that the times have changed--there is a world beyond the World Cup; a player's career is no longer defined by the World Cup alone, but by tournaments such as the the Champions League and the European Championship, which offer a credible platform for players to demonstrate their abilities. Whether a player considers winning the Champions League, the European Championship, or the World Cup as the pinnacle of one's career is moot, and perhaps irrelevant. Any ambitious player wants to win it all, and win it all in style. Pele should be happy that the beautiful game is progressing, that the quality is improving, that players are perfecting the craft, that Messi is going to outscore, and outplay him, that Messi will take over as king until he too has to give up his throne and make way for his successor
BlakSonGunna (Arsenal) 5 years ago
I think Pele has a balance view of things.... "Messi is great with Barcelona.... Not in Argentina" and I agree with @GotIbra - "I just saw clips of Zidane single handedly orchestrating his national sides to dismantle great international teams full of wpoty candidates, he was literally making everyone on his team play like himself.... Ie a maestro.... So yes, Messi isn't a great.... Yet"
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
That's nonsense, to say because a player hasn't won or dominated at the international level he is not great. Messi has already achieved a lot more than Pele or Zidane achieved at the club level, and he did so with style. We've all seen this kid, so we know he has greatness in him, and one day he will translate that to the international level, when he fully matured. The Argentinian team right now is nowhere near as talented as Zidane's France or Pele's Brazil. And people keep forgetting that Pele and Zidane as great as they were had greats around them too, made them the nucleus of the teams. Argentina has yet to have that
Deepu7 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
How many world cup winning teams might have beaten barca eh? How about brazil? Or germany? If brazil is on their song, then not even barca can defeat them.... That's just the beauty of the past brazil teams.... Cruyff's holland, even though they didn't win the wcup, is one of the greats....
No one can tell whether barca are better than 'em....
Dreadlord (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Clearly, EA Games needs to come out with an All-Time Fifa game
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Brazil's 424 even on song will lose to this Barca. Because of the lack of midfield possession control in those days, Brazil can overwhelm most teams in that era whose basic football values are very rigid. Defenders defend, attackers attack. Brazil's 424 had Wingbacks operating! A role that is some 10 years ahead of of its time. No one had fullbacks running past the halfway line in that era. Brazil changed that. However! A big however, is that, whatever that glorious Brazil do is useless now, because they never had to meet any team that is possession crazed like now. 4 strikers up front meant that they'll concede high amount of possession in today's world. England had 10 behind the ball to defend and yet they still can't get the ball off Spain. Imagine that for 6 1970's Brazilians who are suppose to be defending against today's Barca. I haven't even touch on Fitnesses, power, and speed comparison. Just tactical and formation alone, Brazil 1970 willbe eaten alive. They might be 10 years ahead of their time in 1970, but this is 2011. Tactics and formations had developed 40 years since them.

The beauty of the past Brazil team can only be admired. They are outdated now. Any of today's team can whack them with a 451/433
Deepu7 (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Ha ha ha.... Now you are sounding myopic.... We are talking about a golden team.... I guess brazil and german teams might have had a chance with this barca team.... No one can write them off.... Any one who saw the first half in istanbul 2005 ucl final, might have already written off liverpool.... Ac milan were supposed to be an italian team, heralded for their defence, but we know what happened later....
'99 ucl final, the looks in the eyes of lother matheus says it all....
Football is unpredictable....
1982 brazil team heralded as one of the best national sides ever didn't even reach the semi's....
1954 no one thought a west german side would defeat the then greatest team on earrth, hungary....
And looking at those past teams, I guess they have chance....
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Golden teams only lives in Memories boy. I can defend however strongly about Pele and Maradona, but if they were to come toe to toe with the Ronaldos and Messis of today, there's no doubt who will win if they were to compete in a match. The skills, speed, decision have evolved. Football has evolved. Formation and tactics have evolved. Football is not the same pace played in the 70s, 80s. The golden teams of the past play at half the pace in today's world. Maybe We can compare the achievements, but to pit Brazil against Barca is a no contest.

If the changes weren't this dramatic, then maybe...
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
To compare teams across eras, and especially when one is pitting a club team against an international team, is just absurd. It proves nothing more than the game has developed since then. Years from now, Barca quality of play will look just as outdated as the best Brazilian team of the past. To even assert that Barcelona would eat anyone alive, let alone win is just speculative. There are too many variables to calculate before one can even make such as assertion
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Barca will eat the teams of the past. Someone else in the future with their evolution will eat them. Lol
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Maybe regarding the first statement, I need to change that a bit. From mid to late 90s onwards, the speed and evolution of players havent changed that dramatic, so from that perspective alone, teams in the 90s onwards should be comparable to teams now, if they play the same formation, as the base standards of players are similar - speedy, powerful, alot more two footed players, nutrition, conditioning etc.... Anything before are just a wee bit too far back...
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
The variables to which I was referring are:
1. Talent or quality of players
2. Tactic or techniques (depend(s) on talent at disposal)
3. Technology (the ways in which it affects players and quality of the game)
4. Laws of the game (according to whose laws are they playing?)
5. Spirit of the time (according to whose 'norms' are they playing?)
6. Quality of life (Health)

And these are just some of the myriads of variables (I would say more crucial) that needs to be calculated. From a relativist perspective, these 6 variables, especially 3, 4 and 5, give one side an advantage over the other, the moment a position is taken on them. And this is where the absurdity comes in, especially for 4 and 5, because you can't play on both terms. It has to be either/or.
Also, I would argue that not because the modern game is more developed now than it was decades ago, in terms of say, tactic, formation and technique, does not, by necessity, means that any team from the modern era will win. One has to take into account the overall quality of the players that are pitted against each other and how they implement whatever tactic they choose
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
On 4 and 5. Definitely follows modern day. Football has to move with modern times. That's why football evolve in the first place. To catch up with times. To create new things to outwit opponents. There's no point of football evolving if 1970s Brazil squad turns up and say "hey that's offside!" to say, 1980s team. If you don't evolve you get left behind. Brazil's 4-2-4 was innovative in it's time, teams in 1970 world cup still live in previous years, that's the main difference between them. They evolved, they changed, they adapted. The Brazilians weren't always this powerful and big size. But late in the 80s, after the 82 and 86 classy team lost, they decided that to beat the europeans, you need to match them with size. Then the technique of the Brazilians will tilt the tie to the South Americans. This no fear of change is evident even now. They adopted counter attack for 2006-10, now, they need to change to a more expansive attack to win their own crowd. Here's the link to Brazil's ability to adapt:Link:

So to pit a team of the past against a team of the future, here's the comparison:
Brazil 1970 vs Barca 2011-
1. No difference. (Benefit of doubt given to Brazil here) - TIE
2. Barca will EAT Brazil's 424 Not enough men in the midfield means limited chances. Worst thing here is there's not enough men defending !. _ Barca
3. Technology is a no brainer here - Barca
4. As above. - Barca
5. As above- Barca
6. No difference. (Benefit of doubt given to Barca here(I don't believe the footballers in 1970s are drinks too much alcohol or had too much nightlife.) - TIE

Would that be sufficient to compare them? The change from late 80s to now isn't all that big though, and players in that late era are very versatile to say the least, adapting to today's pace and laws wouldn't be that hard. Maldini's evolution is the example of versatility of players these days. Pele's gen of players probably doesn't required to track back, let alone learn how to tackle properly.

Verdict: Barca win. Do you agree?
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Well, I should have mentioned too that the knowledge both teams have of playing against each other will affect their tactics and approach to the game. I have a problem with two, because you make the assumption that Brazil will use that tactic in the knowledge of playing Barcelona. No team in their right mind would take that approach. Therefore, Brazil will have to adjust their tactic in that respect. Also, knowing the attacking prowess of Brazil, Barcelona may have to alter their tactics as well to avoid breaks on the counter. The point is, we have to make assumptions as to how the teams will play, which makes it speculative, academic and ultimately irrelevant. But if I had to choose, I would say Barcelona has the edge because they have better quality players, but doesn't means that Brazil wouldn't sneak a few wins as well. In our own time, we all feel invincible!
Juno (AC Milan) 5 years ago
For point 2. We are comparing teams in their best form, how they will match up. Because these teams can never meet in real life, you have to think the most logic way, : eg, Brazil 1970 - of course you would think 424 along with attacking wingbacks. With MUFC 1999 its 442/424 with tons of crossing on the right, interexchangable top two, MUFC 2008- 433 with fluid top 3; AC Milan 1988 442 with 25 metres full force jammed packed sardines pressures; Ajax 433/343 with inter-exchangable roles for all outfield players; Arsenal 2003 442 with concentration on the left, forward moving to side, midfielders attacking space etc. You also have to assume the most common first 11 will play! I meant, this is not a match that we will ever see, so the assumption here is that the teams will come out with full confidence that their team ideology will win them the match. We can't assume teams will make alteration to opponents here because that will defeat the purpose of comparing teams in their prime
14Hesus (Arsenal) 5 years ago
I just think it's more productive to compare teams within their own eras, rather than comparing two teams of different eras. The only way I would do that is if I am analyzing how the game has changed over the years, the various ways in which teams have organized themselves, and the quality of play. In other words, to track the progress of the game. Also, don't forget that there is no tactical or methodological absolutes in football. However, there are right and wrong ways to approach the game. Brazil and Holland, to take two international teams, have mastered a particular style of play, for one it proved successful, for the other not so. Barcelona (and Spain) have mastered the passing and possession aspect of the game, which according to the nature of the modern game, suit them just well and have landed them success over their contemporaries, but has also worked against them. I am not taking anything away from Barcelona, they are arguably the best team in history thus far; they have perfected the two most important aspects of the game (passing and possession). But how many times have we seen masters of a particular technique fall? That's how great the game is. Mastering one or two aspects of the game is only the beginning
Dreadlord (Barcelona) 5 years ago
LOL This is Pele trolling
Fiasc0 (Eintracht Braunschweig) 5 years ago
Quote:  Dreadlord (Barcelona) 12 hours ago  Clearly, EA Games needs to come out with an All-Time Fifa game    Made my day!

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