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Part IV – Conclusion

Pelé - Foto: AP. Messi - Foto: AFP/Getty Images

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It is finally done. What about now, judging by the numbers, who was the better and more dominant player? If you have read carefully until now, you already know the answer: Pelé keeps seated in football’s throne! The “King” has a small advantage in scoring on the percentage of his team goals and the total goals scored in games (as explained before here), besides he was also more important to Santos than Messi to Barcelona. At national team level, The Brazilian wins by a wide margin: more decisive, better scorer and winner.

However, in no way one can use this series of posts to underrate the Argentinian phenomenon.  His magical plays shines current football itself. About to turn 28, He still has a lof of football ahead of him. “La Pulga” has a certain rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo (also an all time great), but, even spectacular as the Portuguese is, he does not cause in his opponents the same fear created by Messi (like Pelé and Maradona used to do in the past). When the ball is at the Argentinian’s feet, the football fan shuts up, hold his breath before the expectation of another brilliant moment. That’s why one can say that Messi no more is in a competition with his contemporaries, but with history.

At last, I must say I am catholic, therefore a monotheist. Nevertheless, the “football religion” can and must be polytheist. There is room in the Olympus for all the gods of the British sport. So, fans of Pelé, Messi, Maradona, Zico, Zidane, Platini, Puskas, Di Stefano, Garrincha, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Romário, Ronaldo, Eusébio (among many others), don’t blaspheme and underrate the other gods to elevate your favourite player. There is room for all.  Certainly when “La Pulga” retires, the same divine miracle, which has happened before in the past with those players aforementioned, shall happen again: tears shall drop from every football in the world, the “Pueblo” will be sad and they will ask about Messi what the great songwriter Moraes Moreira did in a song (called “Saudades do Galinho) when Zico (also known as “Galinho” – the little rooster) left Flamengo: “And now what do I do in Sunday’s afternoons without Zico at the Maracanã? And now how will I avenge of all my life’s defeats if with every Flamengo goal, I finally felt like a winner? ” .


There was a South American genius in the middle of the road: Pele x Eusebio and Messi x Cristiano Ronaldo

Pele and Messi in finals

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  1. hello Walkman

    Very insightful indeed.
    Great work !! 🙂

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