Marca slam Pele for his unnecessary criticism of Barcelona's Leo Messi

Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi's fifth-place finish in the Ballon d'Or rankings angered football fans.

The Argentine won the double with Barcelona in 2017/18 and was awarded the European Golden Shoe, scoring 34 La Liga goals.

And to add insult to injury over his lowly finish in France Football's prestigious award, Brazilian legend Pele has come out with some serious criticism of Messi.

Pele told Folha de Sao Paulo: "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?

"How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers."

As expected, his comments have sparked intense debate and attracted a lot of scrutiny.

And it seems even Messi's biggest rivals are against the Brazilian's opinion, because Real Madrid paper Marca have come out in defence of the Argentine.

The paper wrote: "If he says that Leo only has a dribble as his best skill, Pele hasn't seen him play in a long time; if he says he doesn't head well, take a look at the 2009 Champions final and ask Van der Sar; and if he thinks he only shoots with one leg, then he should count the goals Messi has with his right foot.

"They are three unfounded assertions. It's shocking that a character like Pele speaks with so much ignorance of Messi's game.

Messi on the ball vs Villarreal

"It's clear that he hasn't followed the trajectory of the Barcelona captain with any sort of regularity. Free statements without any basis whatsoever.

"If you like one more or the other, as he says, it is then a matter of taste and there's nothing to object to."

Pele stated that Diego Maradona, Johann Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer were superior to Messi, but even those who have been tormented by him know that the Barca man is possibly the best ever.

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