Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (4E Sports) – Brazil legend Pele declared that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has surpassed Lionel Messi as the best player in the world.
“Ronaldo has come through for the past two or three years and is the best in Europe. I think at the moment no doubt Ronaldo is the best player,” Pele said.
Pele said Ronaldo surpassed Messi the last two years after the latter got injured last year and hasn’t seen much action of late.
“In five years he became the best player in Europe, but in the last two years, and this year, he had a problem: he got injured, he was out this year and he has played few games,” Pele said, referring to Messi.
Ronaldo has had a stellar year with 69 goals in 59 games and won the Ballon d’Or earlier this month, beating Messi and Franck Ribery to the prize.
The Portuguese has netted 14 more goals than Messi in La Liga so far this season, and tops the charts with 22, while he has also won over the man widely considered to be the greatest player of all-time.
Pele also picked Ronaldo as a hypothetical teammate at his former club Santos because he has the same playing style with Messi.
“Messi used to do the same thing as I used to do at Santos: to come from behind,” Pele said. “Ronaldo used to play more upfront, so I think for me Ronaldo is more important because he is the player who scores goals from the front.”