Brazilian legend

Messi who is now 31-years-old is regarded as many as the best of this generation alongside Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

There has been much debate about who the best player in the history of the game is, with players from different generations in the conversation.

Lionel Messi stats

However Pele has sparked outrage among football supporters by giving a damning assessment of Messi stating that his qualities do not entitle him to be in the conversation for the greatest player in history.

In an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo, Pele who scored over 1000 career goals stated that Messi’s height and left foot have disadvantages which make him unstable as a model footballer.

Despite the Barcelona star scoring and dominating world football for the past decade, Pele is of the opinion that he is limited if compared to him.

He 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?"

Lionel Messi

"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."

Pele then went on to state that Messi is not even comparable as a footballer to Argentine legend Diego Maradona who is also regarded as one of the best to have ever played the game.

When asked on both players he said, "As far as I’m concerned, Maradona was one of the best players ever. If you ask me, 'Was he better than Messi?' Yes, he was. Much better.

Diego Maradona was Argentina coach as a team featuring Lionel Messi was eliminated by Germany in the last eight of the 2010 World Cup

“[Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff were also excellent players."

Messi has not been the tallest or dominant player in world football but has won several accolades and trophies in world football.