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Tite: Messi Comparisons With Pele Have No Credibility

Tite: Messi Comparisons  With Pele Have No Credibility

Brazil head coach Tite has dismissed Lionel Messi’s credentials as the greatest footballer of all time after insisting comparisons between him and Pele have no credibility.

Tite and Messi exchanged words in Friday’s friendly against Argentina, with Tite claiming the Barcelona forward told him to shut up during the friendly defeat in Riyadh.

Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of Brazil legend Pele scoring his 1,000th goal and, speaking ahead of his side’s clash against South Korea in Abu Dhabi the same day, Tite says three-time World Cup winner Pele remains out in front when it comes to the question of whether he or Messi is best player to ever play the game.

He said: “Pele is incomparable. Anybody who wants to compare Pele to any other athlete…do you know what I do? I hear but I don`t listen.

“It’s as if this person doesn’t know the history of this man’s quality… this guy was phenomenal. Once I said that Messi is extraordinary.

“I meant he’s extraordinary to the present time and among humans, with his creativity. Pele is out of normal patterns and I’m not saying this because I’m a Brazilian. You can’t find a defect.

“If somebody comes to me and starts to make comparisons, for me it has no credibility.”

The loss to Argentina meant Brazil are now five matches without victory, yet Tite remains philosophical over the Copa America winners’ form.

During that run, which began following Brazil’s Copa America victory over Peru, Tite’s side have drawn Colombia, Senegal and Nigeria while losing to Argentina and Peru.

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  • Gowetok 2 years ago

    Honestly, its puerile, non challant and annoying to compare pele or even Maradona to messi. Granted messi is a good player perhaps above average he is not exceptional like pele or Maradona who single handed won the world cups for their countries. Even copa America messi hasn’t won. Infact lost the penalty the led to their failure to win it last time. Hiding in Barcelona and political laurels like balon de or does not actually make one best player because you cant win the world cup by voting 

    • Mr Hush 2 years ago

      @ Gowetok

      Like most things human; to judge who is the greatest of all time in a field always comes with its problem, for the main reason that it would be whipped up by sentiments and favoritism;even when the facts speaks otherwise.
      But the question would arise;
      How do you judge the best in a team sport?
      For me,that is the anomaly in sports,especially football; cause instead of focusing on individual brilliancy, we focus on laurels won; forgetting it doesn’t take an individual to win team sports competition.
      Granted;an individual brilliance might go a long way to winning trophies, but most of the time,it isn’t the case. Individuals who deserve it,have always fallen by the way side,just because they played for dead weight team who didn’t win trophies.
      Players like Puskas, Cruyff, Stefano, Schneider,have all lost out to be named world best due to this format.
      Most times great individual players who are in the attacking half of the game, has also lost out of the narrative; Zico,Gentile,Baresi,Scirea etc fits into this set.

      The fact remains, every era has its greatest. Even the great Michael Jackson that cut through era,had to end sometime.
      There are people who never saw Pele play,neither did some see Maradona play. So how can they judge by hear say? Yes YouTube can show us their great goals and movements but that is that.just clips of their best moments; even bad players got good clips on YouTube.
      That drives me to laurels won. Yes Pele and Maradona won the world cup for their countries and Messi hasn’t. It doesn’t take away the fact Messi has won more trophies than both. For club and country as well(u20,Olympics gold for Argentina).He has won the major one yet doesn’t mean he hasn’t tried. He has taken Argentina singlehandedly to three major finals back to back to back;losing out twice on penalty shoot outs and one to Germany( same people Maradona lost to in 90); so how does that translate to failure!
      Do you know how many greats never made it to the world cup or a major tournament?
      Di Stefano, Weah etc.
      Does that take anything from their greatness?

      Maradona and Pele are one of the greatest to have played the game,and that’s fact, but it say Messi doesn’t compare just because he hasn’t won a cup for Argentina is totally absurd.
      Messi has an individual has broken records no one has done before. He has broken record set before him,and by both Maradona and Pele; and might still break more. So how can’t he not be compared to both?

      I could go on and on.
      But the truth is,there can’t be a greatest of all time in a team’s sport. But there can always be a list of greats and Messi has earned to be amongst the greats.

      • Mr Hush 2 years ago

        Sorry for the typos.
        Hope we get to read through it

      • Glory 2 years ago

        @Hush you dey talk. Very good one. A whole lots goes into players performances, Era, chemistry, opposition, game rules,managers tactics etc etc… So how can we then justify our judgement. Pure n pure vagueness when single out players.

        • Mr Hush 2 years ago


          Nicely summarised.

          Much respect

        • If we have to compare individual tilents like u guys mentioned. Then i most be real with u guys Maradona is the best ever in this game better than messi and pele. Maradona scored alltypes of goal. In boca junior maradona score a goal from the middle of the field. He is the fastest and most skillfull. Pele was lucky to be a brazilian to achieve that much goals with samba boys.

    • A Ronaldo fan spotted

  • It is really insane to compare Messi with Pele and Maradona. It is these young ones that did not watch Pele play that are involved in this nonsense. Messi should be contending with Ronaldo. As a one club, it is even insane to compare Messi with Ronaldo. It is because trees are near to each other that the monkey thinks it is smart. Messi is in a club that have good passers of the ball. La liga is even soft league. Can Messi survive in the premier league? Can he survive in the Italian league? No³!!!! Pele started playing for Brazil at the age of 17yrs. Won the WC trice. 3x. Threex. In all he contributed heavily. Ronaldo single handedly brought the Euro trophy to Portugal. What of the so call Messi? Nothing for Messi. Khaki no bi leather. Let these young uninformed ones go to YouTube and watch Pele. Let them watch Maradona to.

    • Mr Hush 2 years ago


      You have raised valid points, but everything is all about perception.
      It is because the Monkey is smart that is why he noticed the trees are close to each other,or he could have just stuck to the ground.

      How can you tell it is only the young ones that didn’t watch Pele and Maradona play that’s making the comparisons?
      Many greats that have played against or with Maradona and Pele have always put Messi in that bracket too.

      Pele won the world cup at age 17,as you put,not singlehandedly but as an integral part of the team,since his influence for the first world cup was mainly at the semis and final against Sweden. And one can argue that he had great team mates around him too,Garincha,Jairzinho,Eder,Zico etc.
      Besides,Pele was also more relevant in club football only at Santos; when he was challenged by the Europeans to come prove his worth IN Europe, he made a detour and moved to a weaker USA league for money, and he was at his prime then. So the case that Messi is a one club man is totally irrelevant. Been a one club man doesn’t take away your individuality and your brilliance in the game.
      The trophies and results does the speaking.
      In fact, most greats played for just a club,highest two in the same league.
      And to say he is surrounded by great passers and such in Barcelona, that is just been pitchy with truth.one could argue same for Pele,Ronaldo and Maradona, that they had great players around them as well;it doesn’t take away their individual brilliancy, same for Messi. They were all pivotal.

      The question is,how do you know that Messi wouldn’t do well in Premiership or Serie A?
      Precisely, you don’t. Cause it never happened. So it can’t be a basis for or against his game.
      You don’t have to move from office to office or place to place to show you are game. Quality don’t hide. When the game comes for you,you have to prove yourself.and you would agree with me,Messi has proven himself time and again.if you don’t, his trophies,records and awards says so.
      It is not like Messi hasn’t played against the best from these other leagues,there is the champions league,.
      To say unequivocally that the Spanish league is weak is funny. This is the best presently the best league in the world according to all data and report.
      And what Euros did Ronaldo singlehandedly won for Portugal? The same Euros Portugal didn’t win a group game,qualified been the best loser,and only won a semi and final won by Renato, that Euro?
      You tend to forget that Messi has taken Argentina to many finals,from u20,Olympics, 2 Copa America finals,a Copa centinario final and a world cup final. All as top scorer. You tend to forget Messi has broken all individual goals and assist records set by Maradona and the rest of Argentina’s greats,Crespo,Lopez,Kempes and Batistuta.
      He is now 7 short from breaking Pele’s south Anerican record.a continental record!
      Messi has broken the free kick record set by greats Juninho,Mihalovic,Baggio.
      This isn’t about Barcelona or Argentina.
      This is about an individual breaking all records set by the people you say he can’t and shouldn’t be compared with!
      Then who should he be compared with?
      What more can he do to be put in such narrative?
      Actions speaks loud,words becomes silent.

      You might have your preference. Everyone does.
      But facts don’t lie.
      And greatness transcends eras.

      If winning the world cup alone can make you the great player.
      Then Frank lebouf, Rossi,Lama, Etc are better than Messi.

      • Abdul 2 years ago

        @Mr. Hush. You write convincingly and i appreciate your choice of words. I am neither a messi or ronaldo fan, but i enjoy good football. However, the point that being a one-man team doesn’t take away your brilliance and individuality is a lil bit hash to the common sense. Moving from one club to another means you are adapting to new playing style, you are undertaken a new role, new challenges, you are breaking new boundaries, you are setting new goals, you are facing obstacles and we can count and count. Moreover, we have grown to see how the above factors have played significant roles in determining the patterns in the careers of so many greats that have walked through and those that are still in the game. The popular example include Sanchez, Fernando Torres, to mention a few. This point does not translate to the vague submission that Messi isn’t great like Pele, but that winning all his laurels with Barcelona deprives the global football of what the genius could do in another league or club. Sporting lisbon’s ronaldo was cheeky and unpressured, Man utd’s ronaldo was more skillful and non-prolific but Madrid’s ronaldo was less skillful, highly prolific and extermely emotional. These patterns and growth have in one way or the other impressed one enemy of Ronaldo if not all, and a part of me believes better version of Messi could be laying somewhere outside Spain and of course not when he’s 35. Thank you.

        • Mr Hush 2 years ago


          My appreciation.
          I must say,I appreciate the context you are taking..

          Sometimes,it is inevitable but to describe one as the best in what they do if such keeps taking up new challenges and overcoming.
          Every new challenge brings a new dimension, and such dimension brings a new you.

          Moving from a club to another club can give you that.point in case,C.Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Ronaldo da Lima, Eto o, Lewandowski, Aubameyang,Van dyk, etc have all changed clubs and done exceptionally well. They have proved their mantle.

          But does that take away the greatness of those who never sort to move away?
          The Maldinis,Giggs,Iniesta,Xavi(duo played all their careers in Barcelona), etc.

          That’s just the point.

          You staying put doesn’t mean you don’t face new challenges too. There are new challenges every day, cause your challenges know you,so you have to come up with a different you while stuck in a place.

          That could as well be an argument and another way to look at things.

          That said, I do support your notion though. Yes.moving out builds you in a different mode.

  • Leave this place!!!!

    Pele scored 1281 goals in 1363 games over his career, this includes club games as well as for Brazil. Messi has not scored even half of this and is unlikely to reach half of this before he retires from football.

    Forget about trophies for a minute and just focus on the personal achievements, the goals scored. Messi has scored a total of 498 goals in a total of 625 games and will have to score another 783 goals to equal Pele’s record (A Guiness book of records) feat that has stood for over 40 years is unlikely to be broken by anybody currently playing in world football.

    This is like comparing the Church Alterboy with the Reverend Father lololololol

    • Mr Hush 2 years ago

      @Big D

      Pele is a great scorer.
      And most of those goals are still up for debate,cause most were scored in unofficially matches, charity games.
      Most not recognized by fifa.

      Not taking anything away from Pele.
      He is amongst the greatest of all time.

      But to belittle Messi, and say he can’t be compared to both,
      I dare ask ,on what basis?
      There a lot Messi has done,Pele and Maradona or anyone else hasn’t.

      And has my earlier point states.

      There different eras.
      It is incomprehensible to compare.
      Football then isn’t football now.
      It all depends on perception and the way you look at things.

      But definitely,..
      Messi has earned the spot on that greatest list..

      • @Hush, no it’s the other way round. Most were official matches. 812 from official matches (still twice as many as Messi) and 500+ from discontinued tournaments and unofficial games. Majority, most are recognised goals.

        But each to their preferences. For me, Pele, club and country is head and shoulders above. You may decide Messi is. C’est La Vie

        • Mr Hush 2 years ago

          @Big D

          Yeah..still on the goals thing!
          I never denied Pele wasn’t a great scorer.
          He is a beast of a scorer but when you have almost quarter of your one thousand plus goals coming in unofficial matches,you get the picture.
          Football isn’t all about goals.
          There are always other departments, and that’s the anomaly I talk about of naming the greatest.
          Because Maradona wasn’t really much of goal scorer like Pele,but he is still measured on that level as him.

          If the greatest is determined by goals alone , there are a lot of people that have scored more international goals for than even Pele.
          Chitalu of Zambia,Ali Daei of Iran,Saed of Iraq,Kamamoto of Japan etc.
          As you see,the above named aren’t really remembered for being special. But they could be named great as well,at least by their fans for their scoring ability.

          You buttressed my whole point from the beginning.
          It is all about PERCEPTION.
          It is the way you look at it from.
          We all have our preference.
          And I never for one said I picked Messi over Pele.
          I only stated that Messi has earned the right to be compared to both greats in Pele and Maradona, same as C.Ronaldo.
          They surely have created a legacy that would always be remembered.
          And you can say that in different languages.

    • Jones 2 years ago

      Pele scored that number of goals because he played at santos for most of his career. During his time Santos won the the league almost everywhere. So it’s foolishness to praise a one club man and castigate another. If you watch Barcelona regularly you will see it’s Messi carrying the team at not the other way around. Most of his goals are from individual brilliance 

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Pele was a great player indeed. He won 3 world cups. However, Pele was also surrounded by great players. Rivelino, Garrincha, Tostao, Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho, Edu, Fontana, Everaldo, Paolo Cesar…just to name a few. These players were so good, they arguably could have still have won those world cups without Pele. Pele’s presence was the icing on the cake. So, Pele was definitely not a ONE MAN SHOW for Brazil. The closest thing to a ONE MAN SHOW the world has seen is Maradona in 1986. The team was built around him. He pretty much carried Argentina thru the tournament, all the way to the trophy.
    Comparing football greats is not a straightforward thing. All the recognition usually goes to strikers and attacking midfielders. Yet, there were also great defenders and even goalkeepers. Comparing Pele with Beckenbauer is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, Pele has more laurels, but both were incredibly valuable to their respective countries in their hey day. How about comparing Yashin aka the Black Panther, the Soviet goalie considered to be the greatest goalie ever by many pundits, to someone like Johann Cruyff, one of the most gifted players to ever play the game? How do you measure the VALUE of these players for comparison purposes? Sentiment and bias can easily skew these measurements. Not an easy task!
    In terms of who is the greatest, if you’re talking trophies and laurels, you can’t beat Pele’s 3 world cups. But if you’re talking about skill, soccer artistry, goals, assists, and all the things that a player must show to be considered great, then the jury is out, and remains out.

  • Pele, Messi, Maradona and George Best: all these players are of the same category.

    What they did with the ball (regularly) can not be thought in any football academy in the world. They played magical football and did things that were simply out of this world.

    These ones are not mere mortals – they are gods.

    Ronaldinho could so easily have been in the same category but he lost his way leading to a sad shortening of what would have been an illustrious and magical career.

    They are all in the same category: supremely talented and gifted sporting icons.

    However, some are better than others when you apply certain variables.

    – National team success: Pele and Maradona are ahead of Messi.

    – Club team success : I think Messi is more accomplished in this regards (I stand to be corrected).

    – Under-aged football success: I think Messi is the only one to have won Under 21 and Olympic gold.

    – Truly breath-taking football: I think Messi has created more moments of magic. But this is tight because Maradona and Pele both also created moments of unbelievable football magic.

    It is a close one and one that will eventually come down to subjective choice.

    Whichever way, one thing is undeniable : Pele, Messi, Maradona, George Best all belong to the same category of football titans.

  • Let me add this. Let’s swab their time of play. If Messi was playing in Pele’s time, can he survive it? The ball was heavier then. There was no protection for star players. Bone to bone. No sport medical practice with their fanciful pain relieving spays. No scientific food control. No scientific controlled exercise. You are on your own. It was so difficult playing international and professional football. Injuries made Pele to leave football. Messi has all the bell today. Spoilt child sort of. With Pele’s skills and his ability to score from any part of the field with any part of his body, he would have been another thing he was to play today. Not to talk of scientific coaches. To Messi seem to control the referees on the field and he is heavily protected by the referees. FIFA need money. People come to watch these superstars. If you injure them,who will play to bring out the money. Money. So all the referees are seriously warned to protect players like Messi. Good. Pele has no privilege like Messi today. There are some spider webs today if increased to the size of our ring finger, they can stop a jumbo jet midair. If Pele had all the help Messi is having today, this debate will not even come up. Ok ok ok I agree, Messi is a fine player. Pele is a lone star when the greatest player debate is place on the table. Messi is a great but is not a lone star. As of today, Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Harry Kane, Son, Ndidi(no sentiment), Mane, Sarah, Griesmann(?), Hazard, that Polish guy with Bayern Munich are all in the same class. Maradona was a line star one period until hard drugs took his toil. Messi is not in that ‘a period’s lone star’ group. What an older man sits seeing, a young one standing on a mountain, will not see.

    • Jones 2 years ago

      Did you even read what you typed. I don’t get the hate. 

  • Mr Hush 2 years ago

    It Is totally ilogical comparing eras as it relates to human success;simply because you can’t tell what might happen.the word “if” doesn’t kill a bird.
    Yes back then,football wasn’t too scientific, players weren’t that protected,and the infrastructure wasn’t that advanced.
    But how are you sure Messi or any footballer in this era wouldn’t adapt to such clime ,as well as Pele would adapt to this time too.
    Remember, it would be their time and Messi would have no choice than to adapt. So you can see how rhetoric and baseless that argument can go.

    And as far as I can tell Pele was a megastar then as well.He was the c.Ronaldo of the time and all the big bucks came to him too.
    There wasn’t much money in football then,but Pele was treated like royalty as it relates to that era.

    To put all the names you just mentioned on the same level is funny;one can argue that, Zinco,Tostao,Garincha,Di Stefano, Puskas,Gerd Muller are all the same level with Pele too.
    As you see it is all about perception.
    The fact is you can’t really compare eras,since times are different.
    You can’t really have a greatest in a sports,cause there would be bias thoughts.
    You can have greats.and in those greats they can all fondled their feathers who is the best. But the records would tell who is who.

    If the elder keeps sitting down, it is the child that would count the grey in his hair.

    Experience, knowledge goes beyond age and numbers..

  • That is the thoughts of these present age. Ok I give another thought to help you get it. There is a frog that leaps well. Scientist said if that frog is increased in size to human size, it will be s world champion in long jump. Pele is like the frog. The time period is size of the frog. With its little size, it can leap far, what if it is Han size. If Pele could be so good the with a hatch atmosphere, what will be not do. If the frog is increase, what feat can it perform. Messi is a cry baby helped by some many factors to win matches. Get the point my guy and stop being an avid fan of Messi. Let him overwhelm Ronaldo. Then we can start business. For now he is good but not a lo NB e star.

    • Mr Hush 2 years ago

      You keep talking about age ,like you know my age.
      Do you even know if I watched Pele and Maradona play?
      Or is age written online here somewhere?

      For me,(and this my own view);
      Experience and knowledge is not determined by how old you are but by how much you have experienced,and how much knowledge you have gathered from such experience.
      You could be as old as a tortoise but haven’t experienced the world from the sky like the Eagle.

      I digress,from your above sentence,
      I deduce you are a big Pele fan or (a Oldies fan) or you just don’t feel Messi and Barcelona.
      It is ok.
      We all got our preferences.
      That’s what makes life and football exciting.

      But I am never a Messi or C.Ronaldo fanatic.
      I respect what they have done for the game.
      On the contrary, I tend to swing towards Maradona and Cruyff. For their goals and assists,more importantly, their leadership on the field.

      That said, the argument is simple.
      Messi,(as well as C.Ronaldo), have earned enough right to be compared amongst the great,not for anything but for their records.
      And that’s fact.
      It has nothing to do with emotions or age.

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

    Messi is a great player and could be considered one of the greatest when he retires, but definitely not in the class of Pele and Maradona. Those two are heads and shoulders above the rest. Messi and Ronaldo remains in the same class today. I will even put O Fenómeno the Brazilian Ronaldo ahead of both Messi and Christiano. However, in terms of consistency over a long period of time Messi and Christiano Ronaldo remains in the same class. Others greats like Johan Cruff, Ronaldinho, George Best, Zico even our own JayJay are phenomenal players blessed with the same skills as Messi or Ronaldo. But longevity of both players is what stands them out. I will not put Messi ahead of Christiano for the fact that Ronaldo has won two major trophies for Portugal. 

  • @Hush #hush: I’m not a Pele fan. I’m not a Messi fan. I’m not cr7 fan. I don’t hate Barca. I don’t hate R.Madrid. I love watching Leicester play(becos of Ndidi). I love watching football generally. I love watching Super Eagles. I like debating football. I hate with passion all these betting companies. They are influencing the outcome of matches. I love VAR and GLT. Sometimes I wish there was no VAR and let the refs decide. These refs are humans and so can be partial somehow someday. So VAR stays.

  • Jones 2 years ago

    Just by reading your comment I can feel the hate.  I’m sure you are one of those fans that follow c.ronaldo to whatever club he joins. 

  • #jones. I think my last comment clarify everything about me. Of course as someone who loves football, those stars that make football tic are followed. Don’t you know where cr7 is? You know where these stats are. This doesn’t make you their fan. Or does it? I l don’t hate Messi. Neither do I love any player. Ok I love Ndidi and you know why. I.am.not.a.fan.of.cr7.and.I.do.not.hat.Messi.