Pele: I Dream of Playing Alongside Messi – the Most Complete Footballer Today

Pele: I Dream of Playing Alongside Messi – the Most Complete Footballer Today

Brazil legend Pele says Argentina and Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi is the most complete footballer in the world today he would have loved to have as teammate, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar complete his three-man list of a truly great players.

Pele regretfully however observed that the countries known for football culture no longer produce great footballers compared to what obtained in the past.

At 32, Messi has won the prestigious world footballer of the year award a record six times while 34 year old Ronaldo has recorded five wins. Neymar, at 27, has not won this genre of award, but has been crowned twice as South America’s best player, among other top individual awards in continental and FIFA tournaments.

Pele however noted that Neymar who became the world’s most expensive footballer in 2017 with his €222millon move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona is yet to play to his full potential for Brazil national team, Selecao.

Pele expressed his latest personal opinion and wish when Gazzetta dello Sport asked him to name a current active footballer he would have loved to play with on the pitch.

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“I think of Leo Messi. He is a skilled player, gives assists, passes, scores, dribbles well. If we were in the team together, the opponents should worry about two players, not just one! Today, Messi is the most complete player,” the 79 year old told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Once, you found two or three in every country with a great football culture.

“Eusebio, Simoes, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Maradona, Garrincha, Didi. How many did I say? There were so many.

Pele added: “Today we have two or three in all. Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, I would say Neymar, who in Brazil has not yet managed to become a great figure. I hope that at the next World Cup he is in good physical condition.

“People criticise him, I even did it a few times, but we forget that he is a product of ours, of Santos. We always want the best for him. I talk about him often with his father. Technically, he is an excellent player.”

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