Pele Argues Lionel Messi Must Improve to Be Considered Greatest Player Ever

by

January 21, 2012

Despite winning the Ballon d'Or player of the year award for the third consecutive year, Lionel Messi still has some work to do.

His assignment: impress Pele. The former Brazilian soccer star called out the Argentinean Messi in an interview with Le Monde.

"When Messi's scored 1,283 goals like me, when he's won three World Cups, we'll talk about it," Pele said.

"People always ask me: 'When is the new Pele going to be born?'" the 71-year-old soccer legend continued. "Never. My father and mother have closed the factory."

While Messi has performed well in club play — winning the Champions League three times — he has not found much success with the Argentina national team. Messi did win the Olympics in 2008, but that's hardly three World Cups.

With the next World Cup coming in 2014 in Pele's home nation of Brazil, it seems Messi has some mighty big cleats to fill.

Nevertheless, the ongoing highlight reel that Messi has provided soccer fans will undoubtedly carry the gifted striker into the conversation on the greatest player ever. At age 24, he still has plenty of time to claim the unofficial title.

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