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April 13, 2010

Pele: Messi must score 1,000 goals first

By Soccernet staff

World Cup legend Pele claims that all talk of Lionel Messi being the greatest player in the world must stop until the Argentine scores his 1000th career goal.

Pele
GettyImagesPele: The greatest ever?

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Pele is regarded as the best striker to have played the game, but is tired of seeing comparisons with his career and told the Daily Mail that Messi must first be viewed as the best player from his own country, ahead of Diego Maradona.

"They are always trying to compare someone to Pele," he said. "I always joke with my Argentine friends that they must first choose who is the best player from Argentina.

"Then, when one of them scores a thousand goals, then we can start talking."

However, the three-time World Cup winner did lavish praise upon the current FIFA World Player of the Year.

"Messi did not win the World Player award [in 2007], but I remember that I said to him, 'you'll be the next'," he said. "It took a little longer, but he eventually won. He's a great player.

"He plays very well for Barcelona, but has failed to show his talent with the Argentina team. Maybe he can at the World Cup. Let's wait and see.''