“Most consistent player out there” – When Pele chose between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

“Most consistent player out there” – When Pele chose between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi


Recalling when Pele chose between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Nearly three years ago, Brazilian icon Pele was asked to choose between the two greats of the modern era, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The Portugal international was playing for Juventus at the time, while the Argentine forward was still at Barcelona. Pele, who won three FIFA World Cups with Brazil, is, for many, the greatest player in the history of the sport.

His demise on 29 December at the age of 82 is being mourned by the entirety of the football world.

When asked to choose between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele told YouTube channel Pilhado in March 2020 (h/t GOAL):

“Right now I think Cristiano Ronaldo is the most consistent player out there, but you can’t forget about Messi.”

Ronaldo ended the 2019-20 campaign with 37 goals and seven assists in 46 games across competitions, and won the Serie A title. Messi, meanwhile, finished as the top scorer (25) and top assist provider (22) in La Liga that season, but won no trophies.

A lot has changed since the interview. Ronaldo joined and left Manchester United during that time, while the latter joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) as a free agent in the summer of 2021.

Messi won the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina earlier this month to add the most elusive feather to his cap. Ronaldo, meanwhile, left Old Trafford after a mutual agreement last month after starting just four Premier League games this season.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently a free agent on the lookout for a new club, with reports suggesting he will sign for Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.

Pele rated himself higher than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Pele rated himself very highly and claimed that there will never be anyone like him.

When asked to name his all-time greats by the aforementioned source, he left Diego Maradona off his list. When asked why he did so, and if he was better than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Pele replied:

“That’s a tough question to answer. I’ve been asked many times.We mustn’t forget Zico and Ronaldinho. People always talk about European players like [Franz] Beckenbauer and [Johan] Cruyff.”

“It’s not my fault, but I think I was better than all of them. There will only be one Pele. There won’t be anyone else like me.”

Messi has won every major trophy in football. Barring the World Cup, so has Ronaldo. The debate about who is the greatest player to play the sport will continue to rage on forever.

But it is safe to say that Pele, Ronaldo, and Messi will forever be a part of that conversation.


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