Argentina Coach Snubs Messi and Maradona, Picks Brazilian Legend Pele As the Football GOAT

Argentina Coach Snubs Messi and Maradona, Picks Brazilian Legend Pele As the Football GOAT

Chukwu Ikechukwu
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
  • Reinaldo Merlo has named Pele as the greatest-ever football player
  • Pele represented Brazil at the FIFA World Cup in 1958 at only 17
  • The Brazilian is also the only player to win three FIFA World Cups

Reinaldo Merlo may be Argentine by birth, but the coach does not believe his countrymen, Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi are the greatest footballers of all time.

Messi and Maradona have been in the GOAT conversation owing to their achievements, which include winning the FIFA World Cup for La Albiceleste in 2022 and 1986 respectively.

Pele, Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Argentina, Brazil
Pele remains the only footballer in history to have won three FIFA World Cup titles. Photo by Christian Petersen.
Source: Getty Images

According to Sportskeeda, Merlo has risked the wrath of his countrymen as he reckoned Brazilian legend, Pele was the greatest player he had ever witnessed play football.

"Maradona and Messi - two phenomena - but Pelé is from another planet. The only one that could happen to me? Pele."

Pele had one of the best playing careers as he won innumerable trophies, including three FIFA World Cup titles with the Brazilian national team in 1958, 1962, and 1970, respectively.

The late football icon remains the only player to have achieved this feat to date.

Top records set by Pele

Pele became the youngest player ever to play in the final of the FIFA World Cup when he played for Brazil in 1958 - he was only 17 years and 249 days old, as Punch reports.

The Brazilian legend also became the youngest player ever to score a World Cup hat-trick, doing so against France in the semis in the 1958 tournament at 17 years and 244 days.

Pele also became the youngest player to win the Silver Ball award when he clinched the prize at the 1958 World Cup tournament.

Why Pele has seven Ballon d’Ors

Sports Brief also previously reported that regardless of what era one was born in, there is a good chance they have heard of the great things the Brazilian icon did.

Had he been eligible, as it has been determined Pele would have seven Ballon d'Or awards - a record Lionel Messi would have tied when he claimed the 2021 title.

France Football conducted what was dubbed an 'international re-evaluation' to determine who would have won the award in the years when it was European-only.

Chukwu Ikechukwu photo
Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..