Pele blasts Messi, calls Barcelona star "one skill"

Pele blasts Messi, calls Barcelona star

But Messi's decade at the pinnacle of the game, alongside generational great Cristiano Ronaldo, have seen more and more observers applying the all-time great tag to the 31-year-old Argentinian. Here is what the Brazil legend recently had to say about the five-time Ballon d'Or victor being compared to him.

"How can you compare?" he told Folha de Sao Paulo. We talked and I told him: 'In soccer, God gave you a gift, but what you did is what made it hard.

"[Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff are also better".

Nevertheless, this was only good enough to give him a fifth-place finish in this week's Ballon d'Or vote, as Real Madrid's Luka Modric walked off with the main prize - the first time since 2006 Messi has not attained a podium place at the prestigious gala.

"How are you going to compare someone who headed well and kicked a football with his left and right foot with someone who only used one foot, only had one skill and didn't head well?", Pele asked. "They're also excellent players".

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Mbappe, Neymar's teammate at Paris Saint-Germain, finished fourth in the Ballon d'Or voting and took home the best young player award.

"We don't know how tomorrow will be, but I believe that every great player, at least one day, has to play in the Premier League", Neymar said in a message for Man City star Benjamin Mendy.

Pele, however, was critical of Neymar, who has been reprimanded for his antics and has a reputation for diving.

"It's hard to defend Neymar for all the things he does outside of soccer". "I spoke with him and reminded him of his ability". He had bad luck because the [Brazil] team didn't win the World Cup and he was branded.

"I've been with him in Europe twice. We talked and I told him: 'In football, God gave you a gift, but what you did is what made it hard'".

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