Pele names the world-class striker he thinks is overrated

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Brazil legend Pele has made some peculiar claims over the past couple of years.

In June 2016, for example, the 76-year-old was asked to pick between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and opted for the latter.

"At the moment the best player in the world is Ronaldo," he told the Daily Mail. "I admire him, if I had to set up a national team he would be my first pick."

However, when he was asked the same question three months later at a Q&A, he completely contradicted himself and named Messi as the world's best player.

"I could mention some names but what has happened in the last 10 to 15 years, I think Messi is the player who was the most consistent all those years, no doubt," he said.

"We have had a lot of good players. Then Cristiano Ronaldo came late but it is different because Messi is the more organised, he scores goals.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is like the Ronaldo from Brazil, he is a good scorer no doubt, but to me as a player it is Messi."

Perhaps Pele was just having a bit of fun by going back and fourth between Messi and Ronaldo, but his contrasting claims frustrated fans at the time.

And he could be about to do the very same after describing a world-class striker as overrated and "not as good as people say".


That player is Juventus and Argentina star Paulo Dybala.

According to Pele - who watched Dybala during Argentina's 1-0 win over Brazil on Friday - the 23-year-old isn't actually that good.

"Dybala? He's not as good as people say," the Brazilian said, per 101 Great Goals.

"They say he might be the heir to [Diego] Maradona, but the only thing they have in common is that they kick with their left foot."

Bologna FC v Juventus FC - Serie A

As Pele alludes to, Dybala is the supposed heir to Maradona and Messi's throne, but the former striker is having none of it.

And maybe he has a point. Despite being so highly rated, Dybala only scored 11 goals in 31 games (26 starts) for Juventus in Serie A last term.

There's an argument to be made the 23-year-old plays in more of an attacking midfield role, but at the same age, Messi was scoring in excess of 30 league goals for Barcelona.

If Dybala wants to live up to expectation and prove himself as Messi's successor, he must start scoring more.

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Paulo Dybala
Brazil Football

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