Pele: I prefer Messi to Ronaldo
Brazil great Pele has stirred the pot ahead of Sunday’s El Clasico.
He said he would rather have Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as a teammate than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 74-year-old Pele, who scored a record 1,281 goals said he preferred Messi because he is a superior team player.
“To compare Ronaldo and Messi? It’s a hard question. They are different kinds of footballers,” he told reporters in London’s West End on Friday (March 20).
“Messi is more for the team, preparing the game and assisting, but Ronaldo is maybe more like the Brazilian Ronaldo and scores more.
“But in my team I would decide Messi, but both are fantastic.
“Messi now is playing completely different to Ronaldo. Ronaldo plays only in front.”
Pele is in England to attend the Liverpool versus Manchester United Premier League game on Sunday (March 22) at Anfield in his role as global ambassador for sandwich chain Subway.
He said: “I think the good players would score goals in any era. After all I managed to score 1,000 goals!”
Messi, the all-time leading scorer in La Liga with 253 at more than one a game, has struck 32 league goals this season for leaders Barcelona. Ronaldo is on 30.
On Sunday, Pele will get to run the rule over a young Brazilian, Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who is still to establish himself as part of the Selecao.
Said Pele: “He is a good player and he is getting a good experience to play in Europe, but it’s too early to start talking about the national team because they have a lot of options.”