Pele: Lionel Messi 'Only Has One Skill'

Getty Images

Getty Images

Speaking to Brazilian newspaper "Folha de Sao Paulo", the "Seleçao" legend was asked how he feels when he hears players talk about Messi as being the greatest player of all time and his response was emphatic.

Messi who is now 31-years-old is regarded as many as the best of this generation alongside Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

He has stated that the victor of Ballon d'Or for five times, Lionel Messi's ability to head the ball implies that he isn't as the same standard as he had been in his pomp.

"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".

Messi this week missed out on netting a sixth Ballon d'Or for the world's best player, and incredibly only finished fifth on the list as Croatia and Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric walked home with the accolade. "He had bad luck because the team didn't win the World Cup and he was branded back home", Pele said.

In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and won the FIFA Player of the Century award with Diego Maradona sharing the prize with him.

Both Pele and Maradona have flip-flopped between loving and hating Messi. "If you ask me: 'Was he better than Messi?' Yes, he was. Much better. [Franz] Beckenbauer, [John] Cruyff were also excellent players". I talked with him, I told him that in soccer, he's got it.

"God gave you a gift for football".

But Pele, who won three World Cups and scored over 1,000 goals throughout his career is not too impressed with Messi, claiming the Argentine is one-dimensional.

"I spoke with him and reminded him of his ability", said Pele, who went on to ponder on nascent football stars and French player Kylian Mbappe, among others.

"I don't feel any more pain, but I feel some weakness".

Latest News