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Pele and Lionel Messi: Comparison and Contrasts - Essay Example

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It is often considered to be a faulty exercise to compare players from two generations. Apart from not doing justice to the talents of the individuals, there are also many aspects to the achievements of a player, not least of all being the team in which they played in. …
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Pele and Lionel Messi: Comparison and Contrasts

Download file to see previous pages... this paper shall compare and contrast the playing styles and careers of Lionel Messi a contemporary Argentinian soccer player and Pele, a Brazilian soccer player of the fifties and the sixties. Both these players are considered to be amongst the greatest players in the history of the sport. They reveal several similarities; however, the time and age that they played in have affected their style of play to a great extent, something that creates contrasts between them. This too shall be looked into by this paper. The fact that they are from the same continent has affected their styles of play to a great extent; however, Messi’s style of play is also affected by the style of play in Barcelona where he has played for a large part of his career. Both Pele and Lionel Messi were forwards. They were known for their attacking styles of play and it was these very aggressive styles that have earned them the number of goals that they have scored. While Pele has been used in different positions in the forward half of the football field, different coaches have used Messi in different parts of the forward line as well. This is one of the most important similarities between these two great players of soccer. Pele played for Santos all his life. This was to a great extent due to the fact that he was not allowed to play for clubs from abroad and not because of a paucity of offers. Pele was offered a position in the teams of many European clubs. However, having been declared a national treasure at the age of twenty one, he had no option but to play for Santos. This is true even of Messi. He too has played for only one club during his entire career. Messi has been associated with FC Barcelona since the time he was a teenager. He has remained loyal to the club despite several offers from extremely well-known clubs across the world. This has been partially because of his excellent rapport with the members of the team and also because of the huge role that Barcelona played in his rise as a footballer. He has won many trophies with Barcelona. This was true of Pele as well. Santos experienced its best period in history when Pele was a part of their team. There is one significant difference between Messi and Pele. While Pele has been a part of three FIFA World Cup winning teams, Messi has been a part of none. This is often held to be a reason as to why Pele is considered to be greater than Messi as a player. Messi has often been accused of not being able to play effectively along with his Argentinian teammates. Much of his greatness is then attributed to the brilliance of his teammates at Barcelona. The fact that he has set up as many goals as he has scored himself is ignored by people who argue so. Moreover, the fact also remains that Pele too was blessed with exceptionally talented teammates during the period of time that he played for the Brazilian national team. While comparing these players, it needs to be kept in mind that soccer is a team sport. The ability that Pele displayed for different aspects of the game is something that has remained unmatched even today. Pele was an all-round player who had the ability to dribble, head the ball and shoot. Messi is the only player in contemporary soccer who has this kind of talent. He too is somebody who displays this kind of talent. In that sense, he is also like his compatriot Diego Maradona. Like Pele, Messi too is as skilled at creating opportunities for others as scoring himself. This ability has made him an outstanding player for a Spanish soccer team like Barcelona that believes in a style of play that is based on passing the ball a lot a and maintaining possession. Pele’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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