Pele is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time after winning three FIFA World Cup titles with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
The 73-year-old also netted 77 goals in 92 appearances across a 14-year international career, and is thought to have scored over 1,000 times throughout his club career.
During his 18 years at Santos, Pele’s goals helped the Brazilian club to 26 titles, including two Copa Libertadores trophies.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Pais ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, Pele said he would outdo the current crop of stars, including Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“If I played now, I’d have to be as physically fit as they are (today’s footballers), but I’d still be the best,” he said.
“The reason is that God would have given me that gift.
“It’s as if you were to ask Beethoven what type of music he’d compose in another era.
“Whatever music he did compose, he would do so with the same genius, but with other tools.”
“In 1958 I was just 17 years old and just wanted to play. I also didn”t feel I had much responsibility, those that had the experience were in charge.”
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