It has been revealed that Pele had changed his tune on Lionel Messi in his dying moments. Late Brazilian legend Pele passed away at the age of 82 on December 29 last year. One of the greatest soccer players ever, Pele was, at one stage of his life, very critical of Messi. However, recently it has come to light that Pele changed his opinion on Messi.
Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, recently shared a touching story on Instagram of her father in his dying moments. Kely talked about how Pele wanted Messi to win the World Cup 2022 after Brazil was eliminated. Kely wrote, “When Brazil lost to Croatia in the knockouts, my father was already getting worse. Everyone wanted Brazil to win the World Cup for my dad, no one more than the Selecao”
She further continued, “But my father knew better than most what football is like. And it was the possibility of any team being able to win that, he would always say was what he loved about the beautiful game. After Brazil’s loss, everyone who entered that hospital room (all day and every day until the end!!!) used to ask my father, “What’s up Pele? Now who do you want to win? Of course NOT Argentina!!”
Kely wrote, “And he said, “Argentina yes! This cup must stay in South America and Messi deserves it.” Everyone pretended (and sometimes not) to be horrified!! HOW?! Argentina!? And he just said, “yes, Messi deserves it”. Although Pele did want Brazil’s rival, Argentina, and Lionel Messi to win the World Cup, the former Santos star wasn’t always appreciative of Messi.
What did Pele previously say about Lionel Messi?
Over the past few years, the debate on the greatest soccer star of all time has never had a concrete answer. While some feel it’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, others say it’s Pele or Diego Maradona. However, when Pele was compared to Messi, the late Brazilian star didn’t take it kindly. The three-times World Cup winner ripped into Messi, calling the PSG star an “incomplete” player.
‘Lionel Messi only has one skill’, Pele criticises the Argentine on comparisons with himself and Maradonahttps://t.co/uwnbEnBFjt
— Times Now Sports (@timesnowsports) December 7, 2018
According to the Brazilian newspaper Folha De Sao Paulo, Pele, while talking about Messi, said “How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn’t head the ball well? How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right and scores headers.”
However, Pele did also state that he would love to play with the former Barcelona star. Although Pele did have some harsh criticisms for the Argentine maestro, the former Santos star did wish well for Messi at the end. Pele’s daughter, Kely, also added that while Pele wasn’t able to watch the World Cup 2022 final, he later knew that Messi had won it and was happy for Argentina and Messi’s success.