Pele: I’d choose Messi over Ronaldo

The Brazilian legend has told Goal that he would rather have the Argentine in his team as the two get ready for Sunday’s Clasico clash

Football legend Pele has told Goal that he would rather have Lionel Messi than Cristiano Ronaldo in his team.

The two modern-day greats are set to face off in La Liga on Sunday as Barcelona take on Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, and the Brazilian great has revealed that the Argentine is the man he would turn to if he was a coach.

“They play a different kind of football, but I think Messi is more for the team, and gives more assists, whereas Ronaldo is more about scoring.

“I think Ronaldo is a lot like Ronaldo Nazario from Brazil, he is the same style as him.

“If I had a team and had to choose, I’d choose Messi. But both players are fantastic.”

Asked whether the two would be able to replicate their current goalscoring exploits in his era, Pele insisted the pair have timeless talent.

“No, I think they are good players who could play at any time. Even in my time, I managed to score more than 1000 goals.”

Messi will line up alongside Pele’s compatriot Neymar on Sunday, with the Brazilian star having netted 26 goals in 35 games so far this term.

But the 74-year-old, speaking at a Subway restaurant in London after preparing a footlong sandwich alongside former Liverpool stars Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman, insists the Barca No.11 could get even better with experience.

“Listen, we always expect Neymar to play well… even myself, for example, because he is from Santos and I helped him when he was a youth,” he told Goal.

“My son, Edinho, was a goalkeeper at Santos and was his coach there. Then everybody crossed their fingers hoping that Neymar would keep it going.

“He is a good player, no doubt. I think he needs a little bit more experience, but he has a great future.”