Brazil legend Pele believes Lionel Messi has been the greatest player in the world over the last 15 years.
For many people Pele, who won the World Cup three times, is the best player the game has ever produced.
Barcelona star Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo have long battled it out for that tag in the modern era, though Pele feels there is only one winner.
“I could mention some names but what has happened in the last 10 to 15 years, I think Messi is the player who was the most consistent all those years, no doubt,” Pele said at a question and answer session.
“We have had a lot of good players. Then Cristiano Ronaldo came late but it is different because Messi is the more organised, he scores goals.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is like the Ronaldo from Brazil, he is a good scorer no doubt, but to me as a player it is Messi.”
When asked who of the Brazilian players playing in the Premier League impressed Pele particularly, with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Chelsea’s Willian and Oscar offered as examples, he replied: “Coutinho is the player who everybody in Brazil two or three years ago was disappointed because he was not in the team [for the 2014 World Cup].
“Some people joked that Brazil didn’t win because they didn’t have Coutinho in the team. He was one of the well-known players.
“Of course we have a lot of players in Europe but to me Coutinho was one of the best players who was supposed to be in the national team.”