From the sports most respected historians to fans all over the world sharing a pint, it’s one of the greatest debates that still rages. If you come from Argentina or Brazil, you seemingly have no choice in your answer, and perhaps you’re better off for that. For the rest of us, the choice is not so easy, and maybe the answer is not so clear. Diego Armando Maradona is as colorful and polarizing now as he ever was during his playing days. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, who is 20 years Maradona’s senior, has been no stranger to the limelight later in his life either. Both have been outspoken in their admonishment of one another, and claims that they themselves are the best to ever play. Even soccer’s biggest governing body can’t decide, they were both awarded the FIFA World Player of the Century, an award that was supposed to be a one-off decider of who was the greatest single player of the 20th century. Nice one, guys.
This is not Red Sox and Yankees or Ali and Frazier, but not because the animosity and passion isn’t there, it’s because Pele and Maradona never even stepped onto the same pitch against one another. That’s how heated this rivalry is, it is for soccer’s ultimate prize, the quest to wear the crown as greatest of all time. Both have scored important goals for club and country, both have tasted the ultimate prize with their respective nations, and both have done more for the game as we know it than any other players in the history of the sport. We don’t profess to have the answer, and no one person/body should either. It should be left to the people. So, we present this infogrpahic to further the debate: Who is the G.O.A.T? Pele vs. Maradona.
Designed by Patrick Judabong