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Pele and Messi in finals

Foto: AP

CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED VERSION POSTED IN 6/27/2014

In another post from the “Pelé and Messi, a comparison between two geniuses” series, I now review their performance in finals. Logically, it will only be counted official and knockout style tournaments: Spanish Cup, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Champion’s League, FIFA World Club Cub, Copa America and World Cup, for Messi; Taça Brasil (Brazilian championship), Libertadores (South-American Championship), Intercontinental Cup, and World Cup, for the Brazilian (the only Copa America he participated occurred in a round-robin format). In the tournaments with two legged finals, both games will be featured (and a third rubber match, like it used to happen back in the 60’s).

PELE (winning team in bold)

1958 World Cup

06/29/1958 –  Sweden 2×5 Brazil – Pele (2 goals)

1959 Taça Brasil

12/10/1959 – Santos 2×3 Bahia –  Pele (1 goal)

12/30/1959 – Bahia 0x2 Santos – Pele (1 goal)

Pele did not play the last game that made Bahia the first Brazilian champions.

1961 Taça Brasil

12/22/1961 –  Bahia 1×1 Santos.  No goal by Pele (next, the field will be blank when that occurs)

12/27/1961 –  Santos 5×1 Bahia – Pele (3 goals)

1962 Copa Libertadores

Pele did not play the first two games.

08/30/1962 –  Santos 3×0 Peñarol (2 goals)

1962 Taça Intercontinental de Clubes

09/19/1962 Santos 3×2 Benfica – Pele (2 goals).

 10/11/1962 – Benfica 2×5 Santos – Pele (3 goals)

1962 Taça Brasil

03/19/1963 – Santos 4×3 Botafogo

03/31/1963 – Botafogo 3×1 Santos

04/02/1963 – Botafogo 0x5 Santos – Pele (2 goals)

1963 Libertadores

09/04/1963 Santos 3×2 Boca Juniors

09/11/1963 Boca Jrs. 1×2 Santos – Pele (1 goal)

1963 Taça Brasil

01/25/1964 Santos 6×0 Bahia– Pele (2 goals)

01/28/1964 Bahia 0x2 Santos – Pele (2 goals).

1963 Intercontinental

11/14/1963 –  Milan 4×2 Santos – Pele (2 goals).

Pelé did not play in the final two games when Santos won the title.

1964 Taça Brasil

12/16/1964 – Santos 4×1 Flamengo – Pele (3 goals)

12/19/1964 – Flamengo 0x0 Santos – the only last decisive game that Pele failed to score!

1965 Taça Brasil

12/1/1965 – Santos 5×1 Vasco

12/8/1965 – Vasco 0x1 Santos – Pele (1 goal).

1966 Taça Brasil

11/30/1966 – Cruzeiro 6×2 Santos

12/07/1966 – Santos 2 x 3 Cruzeiro. Pele (1 goal). At 26, Pele lost his first and only final when on field.

1970 World Cup

06/21/1970 – Brazil 4 x 1 Italy -Pele (1 goal).

SUMARRY

14 finals

12 finals won (85.71%)

2 finals lost (14.29%)

23 games

17 wins (73.91%)

1 draw (4.34%)

5 losses (21.73%)

Goals for – 69 (3 per game)

Goals against – 36 (1.52 per game)

Goals by Pelé – 29 (1.26 per game) –  42.02% of his team’s goals and 27.61% of total goals scored.

Hat-tricks – 3 (13.04%)

Games with a least 2 goals – 10 (43.47%)

Games with at least 1 goal – 16 (69.56%)

Games without scoring – 7 (30.43%)

MESSI (winning team in bold)

2006 Spanish Super Cup

08/17/2006 – Espanyol 0x1 Barcelona. No goal scored by Messi (next, the field will be blank when that happens)

08/20/2006 – Barcelona 3×0 Espanyol

2006 UEFA Super Cup

08/25/2006 – Barcelona 0x3 Sevilla

2007 Copa America

07/15/2007 Argentina 0x3 Brazil

2009 Spanish Cup

05/13/2009 – Barcelona 4 x 1 Athletic Bilbao – Messi (1 goal)

2009 Champion’s League

05/27/2009 – Barcelona 2 x 0 Manchester United – Messi (1 goal)

2009 Spanish Super Cup

Messi did not play the first game

08/23/2009 Barcelona 3 x 0 Athletic – Messi (2 goals)

2009 UEFA Super Cup

08/28/2009 – Barcelona 1 x 0 Shakhtar Donetsk

2009 FIFA World Club Cup

12/19/2009 – Barcelona 2 x 1 Estudiantes – Messi (1 goal)

2010 Spanish Super Cup

08/14/2010 – Sevilla 3 x 1 Barcelona

08/21/2010 – Barcelona 4 x 0 Sevilla – Messi (3 goals)

2011 Spanish Cup

04/20/2011 – Barcelona 0 x 1 Real Madrid

2011 Champion’s League

05/28/2011 – Barcelona 3 x 1 Manchester United – Messi (1 goal)

2011 Spanish Super Cup

08/14/2011 – Real Madrid 2 x 2 Barcelona – Messi (1 goal)

08/17/2011 – Barcelona 3 x 2 Real Madrid – Messi (2 goals)

2011 UEFA Super Cup

08/26/2011 – Barcelona 2 x 0 Porto – Messi (1 goal)

FIFA World Club Cup

12/18/2011 – Barcelona 4 x 0 Santos – Messi (2 goals)

2012 Spanish Cup

05/25/2012 – Barcelona 3 x 0 Athletic Bilbao – Messi (1 goal)

2012 Spanish Super Cup

08/23/2012 – Barcelona 3 x  2 Real Madrid – Messi (1 goal)

08/29/2012 – Real Madrid 2  x 1 Barcelona – Messi (1 goal)

Real Madrid winners because of the away goal rule

2013 Spanish Super Cup

08/21/2012 – Atlético de Madrid 1 x 1 Barcelona

08/28/2012 – Barcelona 0 x 0 Atlético de Madrid

Barcelona winners because of away goal rule

2014 Spanish Cup

0416/2014 – Barcelona 1 x 2 Real Madrid

2014 World Cup

07/13/2014 Argentina 0 x 1 Germany

2015 Spanish Cup

05/30//2015 – Barcelona 3 x 1 Athletic Bilbao – Messi (2 goals)

2015 Champions League

6/6/2015 – Barcelona 3 x 1 Juventus

2015 Copa America

7/4/2015 Chile 0 (4) x 0 (1) Argentina

2015 UEFA Super Cup

08/11/2015 – Barcelona 5 x 4 Sevilla – Messi (2 goals)

2015 Spanish Super Cup

08/14/2015 – Athletic Bilbao 4 x 0 Barcelona

08/17/2015 – Barcelona 1 x 1 Athletic Bilbao – Messi (1 goal)

 

SUMMARY

24 finals

16 finals won (66.66%)

8 finals lost (33.33%)

30 games

17 wins (60%)

5 draws (16.66%)

8 losses (33.33%)

Goals for – 56 (1.86 per game)

Goals against – 36 (1.12 per game)

Messi’s goals – 23 (0.76 per game). 41.07 % of his team’s goals and 25% of total goals scored).

Hat-tricks – 1 (3.33%).

Games with at least 2 goals – 6 (20%)

Games with at least 1 goal – 16 (53.33%)

Games without scoring – 14 (46,66%)

As expected, because of their immense talent, they both have impressive numbers. However, Pele was more regular in finals than Messi. His teams won more and lost less (only one defeat in a decisive final game with “O Rei” on field), and he also used to score goals in most finals games (including for Brazil, while “La Pulga” has yet to score for Argentina). Furthermore, the Brazilian, incredibly, has not scored only once in a final decisive game (only final game or second leg match); the Argentinian, 10 times.

Besides a considerably greater goal average, Pele also edges Messi with a small advantage in regard to the percentage of his team’s goals and of total scored in games (a more fair comparison since more goals was scored in Pele’s era).

Therefore, we can see how the two most dominant players in football history were/are also devastating in the great finals.

Next, charts comparing both great players.

teams

solo

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3 Comments

  1. blanka797

    In 1962 Copa Libertadores Finals Pele played only the third game. He didn’t play the first and second games.
    check this out:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1962_Copa_Libertadores_Finals

  2. blanka797

    And in 1963 Intercontinental Cup Final, Pele scored 2 goals.
    Check this out:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1963_Intercontinental_Cup

    • Otávio Pinto

      Thank you very much, blanka797! I’ve update everything. Now Pele edges Messi in percentage of goals scored as well.

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