When you keep saying you’re the best ever, well, you know the rest. Especially when the only one in the general discussion running against you is Diego Maradona. Not saying Maradona isn’t, but it’s hard to take his serious on more than one ocassion.
So Pele keeps claiming he’s the greatest ever. That there will never be another him. That Lionel Messi is the best player in the world today (also arguable), but Neymar will be greater in the future. I guess it’s a Brazilian thing. Or maybe Pele thinks that the way to get yourself crowned the best ever is staying for your entire career in Brazil, playing for Santos.
It’s a generational gap. Brazilians will say Pele. Argentinians will say Maradona. The younger the fan is, Maradona, or someone else – Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zinadine Zidane. Pele dominated in a different age, almost a different sport. Alfredo di Stefano was untouchable in his days, but those were the 1950’s.
Pele is sticking to his rhetoric, which is keeping his name alive. Maybe he feels that the world is forgetting about who he was, what he’s done. He neglects to think that maybe those achievements mean nothing these days. It’s been 41 years since his last World Cup triumph. His 1000+ goals don’t mean that much these days. I think another Pele is a little difficult because my mother and father closed the machine. There are always excellent players. Maybe one day there will be some player who will play more games than Pele did, or score more goals than Pele did. But I think that is a little difficult.
The man is fighting for respect, for another shot at the spotlight, as his days of glory fade away into youtube videos and ocassional viewings on some Classics Sports network. I’m a modernist in my views. Today’s soccer, football, is better than the past. What Maradona did during his days in the Serie A was much more impressive than Pele, or Johan Cruyff. Brazilian Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Zinade. They made me say wow during the 1990’s and early 00’s.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo. The best today, and if you share my opinion, that the sport is getting harder and better as we advance in years, they’re the greatest of all time as well. Who’s the best? People hate it when we ask the question, so we’ll leave it at that. It’s not Pele though. His pathetic attempt at lingering glory just makes it sadder.