The debate over who is the greatest soccer player of all time has raged for decades, with two names consistently at the forefront: Pele vs Messi. Both players are widely considered to be among the greatest to ever grace the pitch, and each has a strong case for the top spot.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the careers of Pele and Messi, compare their accomplishments, and ultimately determine who deserves the title of the greatest soccer player of all time.
Let’s get started.
Pele Vs Messi: Who’s The Goat?
Pele is the greatest soccer player of all time. First and foremost, he is the only player in history to win three World Cup titles with the Brazilian national team. Pele also scored an incredible 1,281 goals in his career, cementing his status as the most prolific scorer in the history of the game. In addition, he was the first superstar of the game without even playing in Europe.
All of these factors combined make a strong case for Pele as the greatest soccer player of all time.
You can also read: Why is Pele so famous?
More Facts About Pele Being The GOAT
As if it wasn’t enough, Pele was also declared a national treasury by the Brazilian government. Meaning, he couldn’t be transferred abroad. This alone shows how good he was.
All the superstars today play in Europe, with new technology, the internet, and social media.
But Pele was known worldwide and made his name without the marketing machinery of today. During that time, there was no mass communication, no social media, and no brand partnerships and he was still able to show his greatness to the world.
People heard about him and decided to travel from different countries to watch him play.
Pele also appeared in movies with some great actors such as Sylvester Stallone, for example. Everyone wanted to be seen with this legend.
Finally, all the skills you see today’s players doing such as Rabona, sombrero, flick, two-touch dribble, etc, Pele was the first player to do it. According to The Guardian, “Pele gifted his skills to the whole world“.
Now that you know who’s the GOAT, let’s still have a brief overview of each player’s career.
Pele began his professional career at the age of 16 and went on to score an incredible 1,281 goals in 1,363 games.
His career spanned over two decades and included three World Cup victories with the Brazilian national team. He is also the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil, with 77 goals in 92 appearances.
Neymar just equalized this record and will probably beat it soon.
Another hand, Messi is an Argentine soccer player who played for Barcelona, PSG, and the Argentine national team.
Like Pele, Messi began his professional career at a young age and has gone on to achieve tremendous success.
He has won numerous individual awards, including a record-tying 7 Ballon d’Or trophies, given to the best player of the season.
Messi has also led Barcelona to multiple victories in the Spanish league and the Champions League and helped lead the Argentine national team to win the World Cup 2022.
Now that you have a basic understanding of each player’s career, let’s take a closer look at their accomplishments.
Comparison Of Accomplishments
One of the most impressive aspects of Pele’s career is his three World Cup victories. He played a crucial role in Brazil’s wins in 1958, 1962, and 1970, scoring a total of 12 goals in those tournaments. In addition to his World Cup success, Pele also won numerous domestic titles with Santos, his club team in Brazil.
Messi just won his first World Cup in 2022. He has also won Copa America the year before.
He has achieved a great deal of success at the club level, winning several La Liga titles and four Champions League titles with Barcelona.
In terms of individual accomplishments, both Pele and Messi have impressive resumes.
At the time Pele was playing, there was no Ballon D’or, unfortunately. But in 2014, he was given a Ballon d”Or as a reward for his entire career.
Pele was named the South American Footballer of the Year on four occasions. He was also named the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player in 1958 and was inducted into the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame.
Messi, as mentioned earlier, has won a record-tying seven Ballon d’Or trophies. He has also won numerous other individual awards, including the European Golden Shoe (awarded to the top scorer in Europe) a record-tying six times.
So, who is the greatest soccer player of all time: Pele or Messi? It’s a tricky question but the debate is over. Pele is the greatest of all time.
Although both players have had incredible careers and have achieved a great deal of success, Pele’s three World Cup victories, his number of goals, and the fact that he is the inventor of skills today’s players do give him a strong case for the top spot.