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Pele or Maradona? Who achieved more goals and titles in World Cups and international competitions?


The discussion about who was the better player, if Pelé or Maradona, is impossible to settle. But there are figures that can be compared.

Who is the best soccer player in history?


(CNN Spanish) --

Who was the "player of the century"?

In the year 2000, in the midst of a strong controversy, FIFA decided to award this title simultaneously to two soccer players: Pelé, who died at the age of 82, and Diego Maradona.

The discussion about who was the better player is impossible to settle, but there are figures that can be compared: goals and international titles.

O King

of the World Cups

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele, holds the Guinness record for the most World Cups won by an individual.

With the Brazilian team, the striker was crowned champion in the 1958 (Sweden), 1962 (Chile) and 1970 (Mexico) World Cups.

Diego Maradona, meanwhile, only won one World Cup, that of 1986 (Mexico).

In international matches played with the national team, Pelé's superiority is not in dispute either: the Brazilian played 91 games and scored 77 goals, while the Argentine scored 34 goals, less than half, in 90 games, that is to say just one less, according to the Statistics from the specialized page

  • Last minute of Pelé's death live: news and reactions

in clubs

Comparing the performances of Pelé and Maradona is complex, because their trajectories were very different: while the Brazilian spent most of his career in his homeland, at Santos —with just one passage through the NY Cosmos before retiring— the Argentine he had a career that took him many years outside his country of origin, to clubs like Naples, FC Barcelona and Sevilla (in Argentina he was at Boca Juniors, Argentinos Jrs, and Newell's).


Even their positions on the pitch were different: Pelé played as a center forward and Maradona as an attacking midfielder and midfielder.

Curiously, there is a figure in which they coincide: both won 14 championships, adding those that they played with the national teams and with their clubs, according to the comparative statistics of

"One day, in heaven, we will play on the same team"

Maradona and Pelé, of course, were no strangers to comparisons during their careers.

In the years after his retirement, the players had a good relationship.

Days after the death of the 'Cosmic Kite', Pelé published an emotional tribute to his "great friend" in which he precisely spoke of the comparisons.

"Many people have loved comparing us all their lives. You were a genius who charmed the world. A magician with the ball at his feet. A true legend," Pelé wrote on social media, in a message accompanied by photos of the two.

"Today I know that the world would be much better if we could compare less and start admiring each other more," he added.

"So, I want to say that you are incomparable. Your career was marked by honesty. And in your own unique way, you taught us that we have to love and say 'I love you' much more often. Your quick departure did not allow me to tell you, so I'll just write to you: I love you, Diego. My great friend, thank you very much for all our trip."

"One day, in heaven, we will play together on the same team. And it will be the first time I raise my fist in the air in triumph on the pitch without celebrating a goal. It will be because I can finally hug you again."


For Alejandro Domínguez, current FIFA president, they cannot be compared.

"The question is unfair: at the time when Pelé was active in football, he was by far the best player in the world. He changed football, in the years that Maradona entered it was another football."

If we start to think about what type of field of play Pelé played, what type of ball he used, what type of shoes... it's another galaxy," Dominguez told CNN.

"It seems very unfair to me to say one or the other."

Who is the best soccer player in history?


Although we could say that the vast majority of Brazilians will say that Pelé is better and the vast majority of Argentines will say that Maradona is better, there are notorious personalities who are the exception in the opinion of their compatriots.

Hugo Gatti, the well-remembered goalkeeper for Boca Juniors and Gimnasia in the 1970s and 1980s and who also made a save for the Argentine team, says that Pelé is the best footballer in history, above Maradona.

Gatti faced Pelé and is not afraid to give the Brazilian the title.

On the other hand, Pelé once said that neither he nor Maradona: Alfredo Di Stéfano, Argentine nationalized Spanish and legend of Real Madrid, was the best.

MaradonaWorld CupPele

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-12-29

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