The two most famous players ever and the most influential too, Pele and Maradona were the joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century Award. It was decided so because Maradona was voted as the greatest ever by the Internet crowd whereas the Brazilian legend got the maximum of votes from the coaches, FIFA officials and the journalists.
It had always been a fight of ego between them on who’s the best ever? Well, being a very subjective topic the opinions of most players are divided fairly equally. It is sort of similar to the on-going debate on who is better Messi or Ronaldo. On one hand, the coaches and journalists are adamant that Messi has got an upper-hand, and on the other Ronaldo has the majority of fans in his support. Pele, like Messi has had won gazillions of laurels in his era and was by distance the best player. He was considered the face of football for years until Maradona arrived on the scene. Maradona was sensational and a crowd favourite, someone who was really exciting and entertaining to watch.
There were other players too who came close but they still didn’t enjoyed as much success and glory as Maradona and Pele. Zidane, Cryuff, Beckenbaur, Best and Puskas are few of the names heard in the category below the two greatest ever players.
Pele still holds the record of winning three World Cups. Diego won just one World Cup in 1986 and reached the final in 1990. It wasn’t just one World Cup medal that Maradona had won; he won the hearts of millions of fans around the world with his sheer brilliance. 1986 World Cup was his tournament and he was a one-man army in it.
Pele had scored an unbelievable amount of goals throughout his career excluding those that were not even documented. It would be unfair to say that Maradona didn’t score enough as the game had evolved and it was more competitive than in Pele’s era. Still Maradona scored many and he was inspirational for players in his team and was well respected by many of his opponents.
The only edge that Pele had over Maradona was that the latter used to get in the news for many wrong reasons and therefore his image suffered a lot. His controversies were well documented and the talented Argentine was reduced to just a shadow. But taking a jibe at the player’s performance on the field was just close to impossible because of his sheer brilliance.
The debate on who is the greatest ever can never have an end. It is very subjective and depends on the taste of a person. While some consider them as the greatest ever, I say they are greatest ever yet. Here at Premier Sports Memorabilia we think that by the end of his career, Lionel Messi will surpass both these legends to claim the throne of the greatest player of all time.
Who do you think is the best player of all time?
Are you a Pele or Maradona fan? Let us know who’s your number one in the comments section below.