Pele’s Take On Lionel Messi

In case you perchance doubted what I said about Pele, here is even more proof that the old man feels threatened.

“Messi better than Pele? To get there he needs to score more than 1283 goals,”


“Neymar has great talent. I hope Neymar doesn’t end up like Messi, who plays so well for his club but does nothing for his country.”

Putting aside that Pele’s goal total is very dubious, unlike Maradona, Messi doesn’t really care about this greatest of all time business.  He just wants to play and win.  (Pele was never particularly liked by his teammates.)  Pele is doing his legacy no favors.  Although he will be always be at the front of the Greatest Ever debate, he is simultaneously making himself into something of a worldwide joke.

All the old legends should learn from Eusebio.  Behave with dignity while you play.  Exit with dignity afterwards.  Maintain dignity always.

Update: Looks like the most recent famous Santos alum needed to get in on the raging jealousy act.  Robhino is so delightfully saying, “Another Pele will not be born.”  Hide the green eyes, Robinho, but don’t worry.  The way that Neymar dives, he’ll just be another you.


An Open Letter to Neymar

Dear Neymar,

Congratulations on winning the Copa Libertadores.  You are on your way to Superstardom, although you didn’t need to win the Libertadores for that.  Congratulations to you for helping bring Santos its greatest prize in nearly 50 years.  Santos is one of the truly legendary clubs in South American (and world football in general), and they have been away from the top for too long.  And congratulations for making the Club World Cup in December, where no doubt you will take on Barcelona.

You clearly have great potential, because already the great ones are talking about you.  Maradona is insulting you (or maybe he’s not.)  But what really concerns me is that Pele is giving you advice.  Run. Run the opposite way.  Run far and run fast.  Pele has no interest in helping you.  In fact, he is probably secretly devastated that Santos won the Copa Libertadores.  Pele will not accept anyone impinging on his legacy, especially a Brazilian, and even more so a Santos player.  He may smile and talk sweetly, but all the while he will try to stab you in the back.

I admit that I am a Barcelona fan, but that is not why I am advising against moving to Madrid.  In the whole of Brazil you are now the biggest fish.  At Madrid you may not even get off the bench.  You want to be known as the best. Better than Messi?  You have the Club World Cup and the Copa America to prove it.  Madrid was a disaster for your idol Robinho.  Now it is Cristiano Ronaldo’s club, and he will not allow interlopers, especially ones who think they are better than he is.  He will make sure that you never outshines him.  Stay in Brazil, at least until January 2012.  Then if you want to go to Madrid, all power to you.  But beware of Pele’s advice.  He is always wrong, and there is a reason for that.

Solitary Muser