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Who’s Brazil’s greatest? Pele answers



Pele has insisted that not even Neymar can challenge his status as Brazil’s greatest footballer.

The former Santos star does not believe there will ever be a new ‘king’ of Brazilian football quite like him despite the 23-year-old’s challenge to his goal scoring record

A three-time FIFA World Cup winner and the scorer of more than 1,000 goals in a glittering career, the former Santos and New York Cosmos striker has already seen off plenty of challengers to his mantle since retiring.

They have included Ronaldo, who scored 62 international goals, and Romario, who earlier this month backed Neymar to surpass Pele’s tally of 77 for Brazil.

But when asked if Neymar could replace him as Brazilian football’s favourite son, Pele said: “I think not.

“I think to be the new king, the new Pele, is impossible. Because my mother and my father closed the machine. I think he’s a good player, an excellent young player and he’s going to be a big star, no doubt.”

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have also proven worthy challengers to the all-time greats in recent years but Pele believes he could have been a force in the modern game.

“If you ask, would Beethoven be important now? Of course,” he said.

“If I was in this moment and prepared to play in this moment. The thing people forget is I was given a gift to play football, this is something no-one can judge.”

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