There have been a number of rivalries between great players in football over time, but none as public and poisonous as the feud between two of the greatest in the history of the sport with both Diego Maradona and Pele, taking barbs at each other.
The South American rivals are not known to be the best of friends off the field and have been at each others throats over the past two decades, particularly when it comes to who is the better player or been the best in the sport.
Maradona who is widely hailed by many to be the best in the world, has been the more vocal of the two when it comes to opinions on his rival and here we take a look at some of the most controversial statements he has made on Pele.
Diego Maradona: “Ronaldo is the greatest striker of all-time. Without injuries, he would’ve been the best player of all-time, I have absolutely no doubt about this. He would’ve made the world forget about me and Pele.” pic.twitter.com/LAAjeDwkA4
— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) March 31, 2020
“Pele should return to the museum.”
When the Brazilian had defended the use of the much maligned, Jabulani ball during the 2010 World Cup, Maradona was quick to comment on his rival.
“While presenting this year’s Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele uttered his name as ‘Cristiano Leonardo’. This just shows where he belongs.”
Maradona was swift in taking another swipe at Pele after he mispronounced Cristiano Ronaldo’s name at the 2014 Ballon d’Or award ceremony at Zurich.
“In 2000, I won the Player of the Century award thanks to the people. Pele was second. He also came second behind Aryton Senna as Brazil’s greatest sportsman. The award that FIFA gave Pele isn’t worth sh*t.”
“The people voted for me. Now they want me to share the prize with Pele. I’m not going to share the prize with anybody.”
Maradona when FIFA asked him to share the Player of the Century award with Pele.
“This is maybe due to old age affecting his thought processes. You can’t blame the guy, he hasn’t been doing anything for the past 20 years. I haven’t even seen him in a supermarket. I don’t know what he does.”
Maradona was not impressed when Pele commented that Lionel Messi was not as good as him.