When you’re quite old and you evaluate something from the past, you have to be careful not to rate something from your youth better than something from today.
But sometimes, something is so clear, you can say it confidently without fear of contradiction
So, I will say loud and clear. Pelé, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was the finest footballer who ever set foot on a football pitch. Sadly, he has now left this world.
Without doubt, no footballer in the past ever approached his elegant and beautiful skills.
In my life I’ve been lucky to see the best in football that there is – Cruyff, Ronaldinho, Garrincha, Maradona, di Stefano, Puskas… they are all great.
And today’s heroes Ronaldo and Messi, I tip my hat to their exceptional skill.
But they all walk in the shadow of the best that there ever was.
Pelé really was in a league that no footballer has ever matched.
Pelé, even at 17 years old, showed the world what a beautiful game football can be. His skill was mesmeric, his smile contagious, his elegance impossible. He was so good that even the opposition applauded his skill.
He bows to no-one in the pleasure he gave with his silky skills.
The world is a lesser place without him. He was simply the best.