The Brazil legend believes the Portuguese has overtaken the Argentine but feels that the Barcelona starlet will soon be No.1 in the world
Pele says that after years of Lionel Messi “dominance”, Cristiano Ronaldo must now be regarded as the finest footballer on the planet – but added that the future belongs to Neymar.
Barcelona ace Messi won four successive Ballon d’Or awards between 2009 and 2012 but Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo has claimed the last two, sparking fresh debate over who is the greatest player in the game today.
Pele feels that the Portuguese has overtaken his Argentine rival in recent seasons but says that Messi’s 22-year-old Barca team-mate Neymar will soon be No.1.
“Now, after several years of Messi dominance, the best is Cristiano,” the Santos icon told L’Uomo Vogue.
“The future will smile on Neymar. He can be the key man at Barcelona and help Brazil to return to its rightful place in the rankings.”
Meanwhile, Pele admitted that he can see no reason why he would not have thrived in the modern game, despite all of the advancements and changes football has seen since the 1960s and 70s.
“I’d find myself at ease on the field today,” the former forward stated. “It’s not high-tech footballs that make a footballer, but talent and dedication.”
Despite having won three World Cups during his illustrious career, Pele admitted that he does have a couple of regrets from his playing days.
“Never having partaken in the Olympic games is one,” he added. “And never having played at Wembley.”