Pele places himself & Diego Maradona above Argentine star

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Barcelona forward Messi - a five-time victor of the Balon d'Or, awarded to the world's best player - is not even rated in the top three of football's greatest players by the 78-year-old Brazilian.

Pele reckons five-time Balon d'Or victor and arguably the greatest footballer to ever walk this planet, Lionel Messi, "only has one skill".

He continued: "How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers", he was quoted as saying by ESPN.

The Argentine has shared plaudits as the best footballer with Cristiano Ronaldo, with the pair winning 10 of the last 11 Ballon d'Or awards until Luka Modric ended their duopoly this year.

Three-time World Cup victor Pele had a talk to his fellow Santos product about his actions, which he found tough to reconcile.

However, Lineker, who also had the privilege to play for Barcelona in his active days thinks otherwise, took to social media to set the records straight.

He added: "As far as I'm concerned, Maradona was one of the best players ever".

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The Samba star has never been shy of giving his opinion on all things football, but it is unlikely that his latest musings will be well received by anyone outside of his homeland.

"Messi, the best ever?"

The 78-year-old former striker is widely recognised as one of the greatest players of all-time, having scored over 600 goals in a 21-year career which included three World Cup triumphs.

Proceeding to describe his fellow countryman Neymar as being better than his club-mate and World Cup victor Kylian Mbappe, Pele also made note of his admiration Franz Beckenbauer and Johann Cruyff.

Pele may not be Messi's biggest fan, but there is no questioning his achievements since bursting onto the scene at Barca. Global honours have proved elusive, though, having suffered final heartache at the World Cup and Copa America. "I spoke with him and reminded him of his ability". Ask me: he's better than Messi? So.

"You mention several names, but from the last 10 or 15 years, I think Messi's been the most consistent player, without doubt".

"I was with him twice in Europe".

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