Brazilian legend Pele, in an interview with Placar magazine, did not hold back when talking about F.C. Barcelona duo Neymar and Lionel Messi. The three time World Cup champion criticized Neymar’s shortcomings while calling the Argentine’s style of play unique.
“Neymar is a good player, but how many goals has he scored with his head in his life,” said the 75 year old Pele. “Is he an excellent player? He is, but Vasconcelos [Pele’s Santos team-mate between 1956 and 1958] was 10 times better than Neymar, without any doubt.
“Neymar is an attacker, he plays up front. That is it. He does not track back, does not organize and does not come out to play. It’s difficult to compare him with so many players of the past when he has deficits although within the current Brazil team, he is the main figure, the only one.”
In regards to Neymar’s Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi the Brazilian legend considers the Argentine to be the best in the modern era, but also pointed out his perceived weaknesses.
“Messi, I always said in the last 10 years he is one of the players I considered superior,” admitted Pele. “But, for example, he doesn’t use his head. He predominantly uses his left [foot] and is not ambidextrous. And, today, he is the best. Messi has the same style as Maradona, the same kind of game. So he is lucky, because there is no one to compare him with.”