Brazil legend Pele: If I’m the king, then Lionel Messi should be the ‘prince’

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The debate as to who is the greatest soccer player of all time may never be decided. The top three contenders for most are usually Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, with each having pros and cons. But Pele knows who is choice his.

Speaking to La Vanguardia, Pele said if he was ‘the king’ of soccer, then Messi should be ‘the prince.’

“Over the last 15 years, Messi is the prince,” Pele said. “I’m not saying he is the king because my parents closed the factory and broke the mold … There is only one king.”

Pele said Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano was the most complete Argentine player ever, then Diego Maradona and finally Messi.

Of course, they all played in different eras of the sport and had tremendous success. Messi and Di Stefano are the only two to not have won a World Cup, and that often is enough for some people to exclude Messi from the conversation.

Regardless of what most think, there is no doubting Pele’s conviction when it comes to the topic. The Santos legend is the only player to win three World Cups. So, is he right? Is Messi really the third best Argentine ever?

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