'Lionel Messi only has one skill!' - Pele rates himself above Barcelona star

Pele blasts Messi, calls Barcelona star

Pele blasts Messi, calls Barcelona star "one skill"

And Pele, 78, has criticised Messi for being one-footed and not being able to head the ball.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor does not have the all-round game that he and Maradona once possessed, according to the Brazilian.

"How can you compare?" We talked and I explained: 'The God of football gave you the gift.

"[Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff were also excellent players". To compare with Pelé, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers.

Messi this week missed out on netting a sixth Ballon d'Or for the world's best player, and incredibly only finished fifth on the list as Croatia and Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric walked home with the accolade.

Pele blasts Messi, calls Barcelona star

Pele believes that these perceived weaknesses to the Argentine's game makes him the better player.

"How are you going to compare someone who headed well and kicked a football with his left and right foot with someone who only used one foot, only had one skill and didn't head well?", Pele asked.

"It's hard to defend Neymar for all the things he does besides playing football", Pele added.

In the same interview, Pele also said Argentinian World Cup victor Maradona was "much better" than his compatriot Messi - although the Brazilian has been on record as previously saying that even Maradona could not compare in the pantheon of all-time greats, due to the same apparent flaws as Messi. He had bad luck because the [Brazil] team didn't win the World Cup and he was branded.

The 31-year-old has scored 41 goals and supplied 20 assists in 45 matches across all competitions in 2018, giving him more goal involvements than any other player in Europe's top five leagues. We talked and I told him: "'In football, God gave you a gift, but what you did is what made it hard'".

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