Pitch Dish

Why Pele is More Overhyped Than Worlds Best Player

The question is, “How can we call someone the best player that have every lived, yet most of us have never seen him play?” Very little of his career is on film, but of what I have seen, it is pretty impressive. What is certain is that Pele is the best at self-promotion.

But even as you list Pele’s achievements, it is possible to pick holes in them. Ali Daei of Iran is international football’s leading goalscorer, with 109 goals in 149 caps. This does not make him the greatest player of all time. Hundreds of Pele’s goals came in friendlies, against up-country teams or down-at-heel invitational sides. Pele scored against the very best, but he scored against the very worst too.

His World Cup record, while impressive, is susceptible to overstatement. Injury in 1962 means that effectively, he only really won two World Cups, and was not the outstanding player either time. In 1958, it was Didi who was voted player of the tournament, while in 1970, it was very much a team effort, with the likes of Tostao and Jairzinho at least as important.

Pele is before my time, so I may not have the same viewpoint as my parents. But when I see the videos of Pele, I find it hard to forget the highlights of Maradona or Messi and therefore can’t fall under the spell of him.

Read More: telegraph.co.uk

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