Cristiano Ronaldo better than Lionel Messi but I am the greatest, says Pele

"There will only be one Pele. There won't be anyone else like me"

Messi and Ronaldo
Image: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won 11 of the last 12 Ballon d'Or trophies

Brazil legend Pele has weighed in on the Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi debate, but believes neither star compares to him.

The 79-year-old, who won three World Cups and scored 1281 career goals - many of which, however, were not registered officially - is widely considered the greatest footballer of all time.

Between them, Messi and Ronaldo have won 11 of the last 12 editions of the Ballon d'Or - six for Messi and five for Ronaldo.

Pele won the world Cup with Brazil three times in his career
Image: Pele won the World Cup with Brazil three times in his career

Despite the Barcelona forward edging his Portuguese counterpart in that battle, Pele thinks Ronaldo is currently superior.

"Right now I think Cristiano Ronaldo is the most consistent player out there, but you can't forget about Messi," he told YouTube channel Pilhado.

Ronaldo was visibly emotional at receiving the Ballon D'or from Pele in 2013
Image: Ronaldo was visibly emotional at receiving the Ballon d'Or from Pele in 2013

Pele's achievements have long been measured alongside another former great, Diego Maradona, but he did not feature in the Brazilian's list of the all-time best players.

Asked he if was better than Ronaldo and Messi, Pele said: "That's a tough question to answer. I've been asked many times.

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"We mustn't forget Zico and Ronaldinho. People always talk about European players like (Franz) Beckenbauer and (Johan) Cruyff.

"It's not my fault, but I think I was better than all of them.

"There will only be one Pele. There won't be anyone else like me."

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