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Pele Vs Maradona: Who Is Better?

Following Diego Maradona’s controversial comments about Pele yesterday, Carlo Garganese asks the question: Who was the greatest?

I will go for Pele he has more record than Maradona and he is also a cheat he cant play football without cocaine. Lets hear your comment here.

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59 answers

I wrote an article on this subject I hope all of you will enjoy.

http://truvianni.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/maradona-vs-pele/

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Those who are arguing for the most part cannot play football anywhere near the level of these two greats - me inclusive. There are more ways than we can list here to compare footballers, but since these two never met one-on-one, we cannot really compare them. They played in completely different eras. Here's the way history will remember them: RECORDS. The unmeasurable aspects of their footballing prowess will fade out of our memories - or out of the history books after we have left this earth. However, the records will still bear the following:

   # Youngest world cup winning palyer - PELE

   # Most world cups by an individual - PELE

   # Youngest player to score in a world cup final - PELE (*This is remarkable, since Maradona fans say his team was lousy. If Pele's team was greater, how come they needed a 17-year-old to score for them? The guy was simply great, even at that age! Also, was the Brazilian team great in 3 world cups? Don't get me wrong. Any team that wins the world cup must do so as a team. It's just that it is lame to say Maradona single-handedly won a world cup. Don't insult his teammates.)

I admit, those Pele records will one day be broken, but the person to break them was not, and can no longer be, Maradona. Their respective eras have come and gone, and Pele remains after Maradona. He was before Maradona, but is still in the record books after Maradona. That is not an insignificant fact. Sorry, Maradona!

The main advantage Maradona has over Pele is that he played in a more modern era when TV and other media had proliferated the world. The Internet also helped him because his fans are around to put him there. Those same fans gave him the ability to win the popular vote. To suggest that he played in a mediocre 1986 Argentina world cup team is to insult those on his team - as though he would have won if they did not play! If he was that good, why did he not also  "single-handedly" win another world cup?

Here is one reason the U.S. is such a great sporting nation - all the major sporting leagues keep tab of the records set by their players. While people want to crown Michael Jordan as the greatest basketballer of all time, the record books say otherwise. True, Michael Jordan was great, but history says there were others - because their records speak for them. We may have biased opinions, the Guinness Book of Records has an unbiased documentation of irrefutable facts. For now, it is PELE. In another 50 years, Maradona may be history. Pele stands a greater chance of remaining in the record books.

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Against what opponents?

Even david villa will score 800 goals per 100 games in shitty leagues (brazil and MLS) where pele spent his career. would he have scored that many goals

in the serie A and la liga where maradona proved himself amongst other great players

BTW, his total goal tally includes goals scored  in exhibition matches as well.

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Check the following record for PELE:

He scored five goals in a game six times, four goals 30 times, three goals 90 times. Between 1956 and 1974, he racked up a massive 1,220 goals, scoring at least 100 times in three of those seasons.

Pele was a big game player--not only scoring an average of at least one goal in every international game he played but also leading Brazil to three consecutive World Cup titles. I read about one of his games, where he played a corner kick and still made it to inside 18 to score the same ball he played.

Those who say since they didn't see his actions they don't believe it, one day they would be comparing Nigerian Teslim Thunder Balogun with the likes of Kanu, Martins etc since they saw those and did not the greatest Nigerian Footballer of all times.

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I recollect a certain Mr Diego laying the penetrating offside beating pass that led to the goal!!!

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this argument will continue long after they are dead and we are all gone

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^^^ Guy help me dey tell dem o!

@Jalether, stop insulting someone just b'cos that person disagree to ur point of arguement. i gat many so many points to prove u wrong on ur reply but since u'r that insulting type, i think i'd better forget about the arguement and think of something else instead of xchanging word of insult with u, but 1 thing i'll like u to know is that, so long as football is concern, pele is FAR better than maradona. thanx!

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Pele by far, he is the youngest man to have played in the final of world cup, the only man with 3 world cup medals. When he visited Nigeria in 1978 in the match btw Fluminense FC and Nigeria 11, that guy dribled everyone on the pitch, he took the ball from one end to the other and back without anyone been able to tackle him.

In 1967, the Nigerian Civil War had a 48-hour ceasefire to watch Pelé play an exhibition game in Lagos. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1608/is_2_22/ai_n16071178/

Maradona is great, no doubt,  but man pass man, he did not win World cup 86 alone, infact in the final match, Buruchaga scored the winning goals.

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Maradona should come out and boast of his glory it's been tarnished maradona can't do anything without cocaine okay i don't even regard hi as footballer icon b,cos of that cocaine issue that shows me that he could not performed without an influence.

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some people here will just vomit something without considering the implications . can someone tell me how can a single footballer single handledly won a match without a support of his team mate now talk of a trophy.ah na Wa for you oooh . If the FIFA are not bunch of idiots why can't them withdraw all his honor after they discovered that he was using cocaine to boosted his energy , to tell you that he could not do thing without the help of cocaine you see. they should do what American did to Mario Jones

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Cheating is cheating, and Maradona should know that scoring a goal with the hand is not allowed, PERIOD!!.  Maradona first tested positive for cocaine following a league game in 1991 and was suspended for 15 months. By his own admission, he had been using drugs since 1982, when he was 22. Maradona, failed drug tests several time in his "career". Maradona was first banned for using cocaine while playing for Napoli in Italy. In 1994 he was kicked out of the World Cup finals in the United States and again banned for 15 months after testing positive for a cocktail of performance-enhancing drugs, including ephedrine.

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They are never to be compared. Beckky is hardworking but jay-jay is the definition of football!!!

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The fact that pele played in an era where media coverage was sooooo diff (unlike maradona)yet his name still sends sparks flying says a whole lot.

Face it u judge maradona as best cos u can see at least 80% of his plays n video and judge for urself. Most of pele's video clips are not there for all u know, he might also have single handedly won a cup. U can't say cos u have not seen it all, yet his name won't go away.it only goes to show,

The guy MUST BE D BEST!!!!!!!!

Its almost like the case of beckky and jay-jay. If not for english media hype can u differentiate the 2.

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This is the most moronic statement I have ever read in my life.

how many of maradona's goal were scored using the hand of god. I can't even believe I'm responding to this post.

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Pele didn't need to use "The hand of God" to put a goal.

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Garrincha and Ronaldo da lima in my opinion are better than Pele.

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number 3 will only be right if the guy you are referring to said Pele was never the worlds best player in his time!!!

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^^^^^^^^

You made my day.

Apt analysis and the facts are there to see.

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For God's sake, today is July April 1st!!!

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to compare Pele to maradonna who hand tricked is to compare original to wanna be original.

While Pele invented and perfected many established now taking for granted, but still difficulty kicking styles like the bicycle trick, maradonna have to study his film, wanting to be like him to become what he became.

Do we company Johnny Coltrain to Winson Marselis in Jazz, do we compare Jimmmy Hendrick to lenny Travis in Rock, do we compare Muhammad Ali to Evander holyfield in boxing, was Ube Blake, Duke Elliton are comparable to any of today's Jazz greats? The formers are innovators, while the laters are copycats.

The same is Pele who was great as a player, being talked about for over 50 years now, compared to maradonna still not 50 years old.

For my money, Pele will draw the crowd of those who appreciate quality. Even Suza, the famed Brazilian female personality of the 90s, was just 19 or 20 years old when she couldnt help herself but crumbled in the present of the man who could easily be her grandfather. If Pele arrives in Argentina, today, he will draw greater crowd that Maradonna. If Pele arrives in any part of Africa or Europe today, he will draw a bigger crowd than maradonna would, because people see him perform under a more difficult, somewhat crude enviroment than the "hand trickster" whose time is mmerely in the 1980s.

i am not a soccer officianado, but i just watched both of them on Youtube and my money is no Pele.

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^^I''m now beginning to think this maradona of a guy is overrated.

I mean he retired like a long time ago, let's move on to new and young players.

This isn't the era of old men, please.

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Pele is better than Maradona, you can't compare. Pele was The God of football.

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Different types of players. Different times. Cannot just tell who is better than who without specifying in what aspect of the game.

Achievements? Pele, by a mile.

More spectacular? Maradona.

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Sometimes i just dey wonder if na sentiment dey worry us for head for di NL.

how in dis world that the record is there, and still some1 can still come up to argue that maradona is better than pele. under which level? abi doz peeps dey dream ni? E jo, e quit dreaming o, ile ti mo!

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Comparing Pele with Maradona is like comparing death with sleep. Pele is more than Maradona any-time, any-day, any-where using any parameter. Pele is King of Soccer while we can call Maradona the Prince of Soccer borrowing the description given by one of the earlier contributors on this thread.

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Pele all the way! Just like comparing Kobe with Lebron, Kobe has got 5 championships and Lebron ain't got nothin. So the case's closed!

Pele scored 77 goals out of 92 apperances and Maradona scored 34 out of 91.

Pele won three worldcup and Maradona won just one. Y'all gotta give me a break!

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Started playing at 15, was in the national team by 16, won his first world cup at 17!

3 World Cups medals!!!. . . He is the all-time leading scorer of the Brazil national team

Without drug enhancement!!! Omo no be small thing!

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Hmmm They are both world class players, no doubt. But who is better is a matter of personal opinion. The whole world can't be wrong when they voted Maradona as the player of the century(food for thought). I have the opportunity of working under a sports administrator who knows Pele quite well. And he seems to hint that Pele is not happy about the debate and prefares to have them both regarded as great  players and not one better than the other. Well we all know maradona is outspoken and he believes pele is a friend to the Europeans, Blatter, platini and all and has no right to claim the best due to his allegiance with football governing bodies authority.

Well. from a player and football fan perspective i have always believed Maradona was the greatest player of his time and the last decade. He not only single offhandedly won the World cup in "86", but also helped a lowly club like Napoli to win the title of European champs. I regard him high because he seemed to carry the burdens of his team and still achieve success. Well if  were to name my all time 5 players it would be Maradona, Pele, Cryuff, Beckenbauer and Portuguese legend Eusebio(greatest Portuguese and Real Madrid player ever)

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I barely see Pele's highlights and some of Maradona's

I fink old schools shud vote

Mine is dis:

Who is better?

KAITA VS AIYEGBENI

SHALOM

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I think the attached stated the CLOSEST you will ever get to single handedly winning the WC.

That was a WC semi final match in 1986 and 6 defenders trying to get the ball off him. He scored 2 goals (one of them dribbling 3-4 players) in that match.

Just imagine he had another Maradona or maybe a Messi or C Ronaldo was already born in his generation, then you can only imagine what would have happened in that match or others.

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2 different great players from 2 different footballing eras. Masters in their own rights. Hard to compare. I was not old enough to know Pele but Maradonna I do know.

Even though I was a kid then, how can I forget that fateful night in 1994 when he and Batistuta quashed our dreams of World Cup Glory. If I ever cried for a game of soccer, it was that night.

His mesmerising runs and dribble are out of this world. Zig-zagging his way through the English defence, only a TV camera could capture his ball control when we all thought God himself "handled" the ball that beat the goal keeper. Thus the legend of the "hand of God" was born that day.

Controvertial and stubborn. A maniacal stare into the camera gave away his drug dependence. Even then he was still the greatest.

After battling his demons, he now represents his country as the national team manager. People doubted his abilities but the evidence is emerging. There is something about him that brings the best out of Messi, Mascherano, Tevez and co.

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So the attached picture is what you mean by Maradona single handedly won a World Cup this is interesting.

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A player who immediately rises up after cruel and career ending tackles

and act like he was just hit by a feather.

If Ben Johnson couldn't be the best, then why Maradona!

Left to me, most of the stunts he pulled were under the influence!!!

Players like Maicon, Alves, Tevez, Drogba, Lucio will be better players

than they are right now if they decide to go this same route!

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Please see attachments!!! This is the closest i can get to singlehandedly winning a World Cup.

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I don't support the use of cocaine, but Cocaine only makes it worse to play football. Maradona could have been a far better player had he not gotten addicted to cocaine when he was in Barcelona!!!

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he simply used left hand to lift the world , ooohhh hand of ,,,,, they said.

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No one can ever single handedly win a half of a match .

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Single Handedly win World Cup? Pls I dont get you right.

Pls dont take it personal I need a better clue of how Maradona or somneone could single handedly win a world cup.

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it's Maradona all the time .it's not easy a player singlehandedly win italian leage with 2 club Samdoria & Napoli. Also plays for better clubs in Europe.

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The only thing that can end the debate is MESSI

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U musta been talking to the wrong Brazilians.

I dunno any striker as powerful as Luiz Ronaldo in the years between 1997 and 1999.

He was Cristiano + Messi + Rooney all rolled in one human.

Remove Pele and Cryuff/Beckenbauer from that list, abeg.

We are talking about WORLD'S GREATEST not European's greatest.

When you are less busy. . . .Read this PIECE

Only two players have won the world cup single-handedly. . . . .Garrincha(1962) and Maradona(1986).

Pele is a great player(without a doubt) but to compare him to Maradona is pushing your luck too far as far as vision, passing and fooball skills are concerned.

For me I rate Diego ahead of Pele for only one thing. No other player that small and mostly one footed was as dominant and as unstoppable as he was on a football pitch.

Maradona had the ability to make players play miles beyond their capabilities, on top of being a supreme performer on the regular himself whilst possessing complete mastery of the ball no other player has ever had an the type of genius that at times could only be seen to be believed.

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I also think you'll find the reason he did not play in europe was cuz of the brazilian authorities.

Not forgetting when Pele's Santos came up against European Heavyweights like Benfica and Milan he was the star player on the pitch.

I'LL ALWAYS STAND BY THIS

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But Many peeps would laugh in your face point blank if you told em' Ronaldo is the greatest striker.

Especially  those that saw the likes of Puskas,Muller e.t.c play.

I for example would name this following players in no particular order as the top 4 players of all time

Pele,Maradona,Beckanbeur and Cruyff

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Maradona is streets ahead of Pele. . . .Forget his off-the-pitch shenanigans. . . .

He was the heart n soul of the Argentine team that won the 86 world cup. . . .Something Pele never did.

Pele never played in Europe. . . . .Maradona lifted a second rated Napoli in Italy and won European titles with them

What else do you need?

All the Brazilians i have spoken to have told me Garincha was a better player than Pele.

I also agree Ronaldo is the greatest striker ever in the history of association football.

Too bad, his injuries did not let him show more of his rare talents but the little i saw of him in 1996-1998. . . .There's no striker better.

Maradona

Garincha

George Best

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Is he better than Pele?well, that's down to peeps personal opinions.

While Pele played with better player I wouldn't necessary call those other players chumps.

That's the great thing about footy we all have different opinions.

For Example I think Ronaldo is the Greatest Striker ever however many peeps would laugh @ me for dearing to say that. 

P:S Name your top 3 players of all time

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Maradona is miles ahead of Pele. . . .

Pele played around better players(Didi, Vava, Garincha).

Even the 1970 world cup they won. . . .Brazil had Tostao, Rivelino, Carlos Alberto, etc.

Maradona won a world cup single-handedly with 10 other chumps

I don't think Pele coulda done that in Maradona's shoes.

Pele is a great player but he won't be in my top three.

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Tbh, Me thinks it is Interchangable either Pele or Maradona you can't go wrong.

Most peeps that saw pele play say he was the greatest likewise with Maradona.

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