Messi and Pelé at the Balon d'Or ceremony in 2011 / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Three-time World Cup winner Pelé has spoken out about his admiration for Barça’s Leo Messi, a man who is posing a serious threat to the Brazilian’s position as the greatest player ever to grace the game. While at a conference in New Delhi, he was asked to comment on the respective merits of the Argentinian and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It's very difficult to make a comparison of players of different generations” he is quoted as saying in The Indian Express. “But in the last 10 years Messi was the best. Ronaldo plays forward and tries to score, while Messi plays with a different style. In my team I would love to have both.”

But there is another Barça player that the former Santos star feels could be heading for all-time great status, and it’s one of Pelé’s compatriots. “We have Neymar who also has a good future” he commented. Last September 25 in London, O Rei spoke about how the current Barça team “plays with the same style as Brazil in my day” and revealed how much he would have enjoyed playing in the same side as Messi and Neymar.

Pelé at Camp Nou

Pelé never wore the Barça shirt, but did appear at the Camp Nou in the Joan Gamper match of 1963. His Santos team lost 2-0 that day, the goals scored by Pereda and Zaballa, with the media surrounding the 18-year-old from the moment he arrived at the airport.

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