The bizarre claims made by Pele including comments on Messi and Neymar

Pele is widely regarded as one of the best footballers to have ever played the game – if not the best.

He is still the only man to have won three World Cups and still holds the record for youngest player to feature in a final aged just 17.

The 78-year-old’s goal tally is the greatest in history with more than 1200 to his name, if you believe the man himself.

His playing career was restricted to Brazil and America so his mystique and reputation always grew as not many had the chance to see him play compared to the modern day footballer.

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Pele has been known in his latter years to make some outlandish and weird claims, though, that range from the bizarre to the ridiculous.

This week he issued one such claim on Twitter suggesting he had to leave an Elton John concert after being pointed out by the Watford honorary life president.

It’s one of many so here are some of the best of those claims.

Messi has ‘one skill’ and he was better
The three-time World Cup winner criticised Lionel Messi in October last year by saying he is one-footed and can’t be compared to him.

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“How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn’t head the ball well?” he told Folha de Sao Paulo.

Neymar is an ordinary footballer
Back in 2013, Pele was not a fan of Neymar and launched a scathing attack on the forward for under-performing.

“For the national team, he’s just an ordinary player,” Pele told O Estado de Sao Paulo.

“He’s got a huge responsibility and his greatest concern is to change his style, change his haircut.”

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His opinions do seem to have changed over time and he claimed last year that Neymar was better than Messi and Ronaldo.

The crying goalkeeper

Blatter is the best man for Fifa
When Sepp Blatter was up for a fifth term as Fifa president in 2015, Pele gave him his backing.
His reasoning was that he was the candidate with the most experience despite crisis engulfing the organisation.
He said: “I was in favour. It was necessary because it is better to have people with experience. He’s a man who has been there for 25 years, you have to respect him, it was an election.”

Pele’s claimed goal tally
The 78-year-old claims to have scored 1283 goals during his career but Fifa only recognises 784 of them.
The other 526 came in unofficial friendlies and tour games.
In comparison, Messi has a total of 677 goals for club and country during his career

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The referee who sent himself off

His most famous goal – that there’s no footage of
The favourite goal of his career was one he scored in 1959 as an 18-year-old against Atletico Juventus but it was not captured on camera.
Instead, an animated version of the goal was recreated based upon his description.
Nicky Barmby to be a world star
Pele predicted that Barmby would be up there with Zidane, Maldini and Ronaldo when he was just 21-years-old.
He went on to make just 23 international appearances and never played at a World Cup.
Nii Lamptey prediction
Pele suggested Lamptey would be his “natural successor” after watching him play in 1989.
His career took on a nomadic existence and he played for 13 clubs during his career but only played around 169 games.

His World Cup predictions

If Pele chooses you to do well at the World Cup, then it’s bad news.
He predicted Spain to win the 1998 competition but went out in the group stages.
For the 2002 World Cup, he said Argentina and France would reach the final but both were eliminated in the first round.
He also said Brazil would not get out of the group stages… but they won the whole tournament.
Pele also claimed that an African nation would win the World Cup before 2000, and we are still waiting for a team to reach the semi-final.
Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal have all reached the quarters but not got any further.

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