Ronaldo, Messi, Maradona: Pele 'named' 12 best footballers in history

Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo

Pele was an extraordinary footballer.

The Brazilian spent most of his career with Santos. He won 25 major honours with the club, including six Campeonato Brasileiro Série A titles.

A forward with an eye for goal, Pele is credited with a ridiculous 775 goals in his career.


He also excelled for Brazil, scoring 77 for Selecao and leading them to three World Cup titles.

There is no doubt that Pele is among the greatest ever footballers in history.

But who does he think are the best players to play the game?

Pele was asked to name the 10 best players in the history of football by MadridistaReal last year.



The football legend responded: "Diego [Maradona], Alfredo [Di Stéfano], [Giovanni] Trapattoni, Garrincha, [Johan] Cruyff, [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Carlos] Alberto… [Zinedine] Zidane… Ronaldo [Nazario]… [Andres] Iniesta."

He had particular praise for Ronaldo, who he called 'the best 9 of all time'.

Pele then added two modern day legends to that list before speaking highly of one of the sport's greatest prospects.

"Today we are lucky. Cristiano [Ronaldo] is great. [Lionel] Messi is incredible. The future looks bright for Mbappé," he added.

Lionel Messi in action for Argentina

Big names that weren't included in Pele's list include Eusebio, Paolo Maldini, George Best,  Lothar Matthäus and Gerd Muller.

Pele also didn't include himself among the best players the game has ever seen.

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He was asked in the interview, though, whether he thought he was the best player to ever walk the planet.

He said: "It is a very difficult question. My awards and history speak for themselves. It is difficult to compare the different eras of the sport. There are so many amazing players. I am honored to be considered the best."

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