Pele: What other players said of Brazil’s football great | World News

After the death of the great Brazilian footballer Pele at the age of 82, he is being praised around the world.

But his prowess on the pitch has been admired by his teammates for decades. Here’s a selection of quotes from fellow players, past and present.

Sir Bobby CharltonEngland’s World Cup winner in 1966: “I sometimes feel as if football was invented for this magical player.”

Pele with fellow football legends Sir Bobby Charlton and Franz Beckenbauer in 1999.
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Pele with fellow football legends Sir Bobby Charlton and Franz Beckenbauer in 1999.

Bobby MooreEngland captain in 1966:The first He was the most complete player I have ever seen. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Early. powerful Could defeat people with skill. He could get ahead of people. Only 5ft 8in tall, he still looked the size of an athlete on the pitch. Perfect balance and impossible vision.”

Retired France star and three-time Ballon d’Or winner Michael Platini: “Pele is the man, and then Pele the player. And to play like Pele is to play like God.”

Alfredo Di StefanoLate Argentine-born star for Real Madrid: “Best player of all time? Pele. (Lionel) Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both great players with certain qualities, but Pele was better.”

Johan Cruyffthe late Dutch star and standout manager who won the Ballon d’Or three times: “Pele was the only footballer who crossed the limits of logic.”

Cristiano RonaldoPortugal’s star forward: “Pele is the greatest player in the history of football, and there will only be one Pele in the world.”

Pele joined Cristiano Ronaldo in January 2009 after the Portugal star was named FIFA World Player of the Year.  Photo: AP
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Pele joined Cristiano Ronaldo in January 2009 after the Portugal star was named FIFA World Player of the Year. Photo: AP

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The late Hungarian star Frank Puskas: “The greatest player in history was Di Stefano. I refuse to rank Pele as a player. He was above him.”

Retired German great Franz Beckenbauer: “He is the most complete player I have ever seen.”

Former Italy international Torssive Burgnichafter playing against Pele in the 1970 World Cup final: “I said to myself before the game, he’s made of skin and bones like everyone else – but I was wrong.”

Pele headed the ball past Italy's Tarcisio Bergnich to score in the 1970 World Cup final.  Photo: AP
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Pele headed the ball past Italy’s Tarcisio Bergnich to score during the 1970 World Cup final. Photo: AP

Retired Brazil star Zico: “This debate about the best player of the century is ridiculous. There’s only one possible answer: Pele. He’s the greatest player of all time, and by some distance, I might add.”

After the victory in the World Cup against South Korea, the Brazilian players brought the yellow banner onto the field
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Brazil’s players carry the yellow banner after their victory over South Korea at the 2022 World Cup.

Former Brazilian forward Toast: “If you take the qualities of Cristiano Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi and put them together, you have a player to compare with Pele!”

Benfica goalkeeper The Costa Pereira After the 5-2 defeat to Santos (Pele’s former club): “I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I left convinced that I had been outdone by someone who was the same as the rest of us. Like was not born on the same planet.”

Pele and Italian rival Giacinto Facchetti during the 1970 World Cup final in Mexico City.  Photo: AP
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Pele and Italian rival Giacinto Facchetti during the 1970 World Cup final. Photo: AP

Former defender of Italy Giacinto Facchetti: “We went up to head a ball together. I was taller, a better spirit. When I came back down, I looked up in amazement. Pele was still there, in the air, with that ball. Nodding. It seemed as if he could. Stay suspended as long as he wanted.”

Only FontaineMoroccan-born French star who scored 13 goals in six games at the 1958 World Cup: “When I saw Pele play, I felt I should hang up my boots.”



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