The Legends: Pele and Maradona

Pele and Maradona

When looking at the game of soccer you may not have to look very far into the past to see just who exemplifies the game as a whole and can truly be called the “All-Time Best.”

Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) was rated as the best player in the world. Only he and Diego Armando Maradona have received the honors of being the greatest players.

Pele – a name short in length but long in significance. Pele had an incredible eye for goal with deadly strike force and always glowed with confidence, even at such an early age. He was the first to play on three football World Cup winners. He is hailed in Brazil as a national hero and is an instrumental ambassador of the game. He played 1,345 games for Santos and scored 1,281 goals in his 22-year career. In 1974, the Pele was also nicknamed the Black Pearl which was considered a great honor by him. After Pele retired, he took his energy as an athlete and put it into his career as a global pitchman and ambassador for soccer.

It has been more than a quarter of a century since his last competitive game, yet Pele cannot visit any country without crowds flocking. When a reporter asked if his fame can be compared to that of Jesus Christ, Pele replied, “There are parts of the world where Jesus Christ is not so well known.”

Maradona, despite his controversies, was one of the most skillful players to ever play the game and he won several trophies for his teams. Maradona played in four World Cups for Argentina, steering them to success in 1986 where he was awarded with the Golden Ball award. Maradona had strength, could run with the ball and could withstand challenges, unlike players who can’t withstand challenges even where there’s no contact! These are his main attributes as highlighted these days, not only could he score goals with his unstoppable runs where he could take out a whole defense on his own, he was a team player too.

Maradona did however achieve similar goal-scoring feats to Pele; most notably one of the best ever was his 159 goals in 240 matches including a goal against England in a dazzling solo run voted as Goal of the Century in the 1986 world cup.

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