It is important to note that despite the widespread admiration and veneration that exists in honor of Pelé, there are those who feel the necessity to remind the world that the Brazilian is human and far from perfect. Sir Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves, have a high regard for Pelé, but they criticize the myth and romanticism that surrounds the player, claiming that it does not allow people to see the man in an objective light. They argue that in fact, Diego Armando Maradona is a better player because he, as an individual player, was crucial to the victories of his teams, as opposed to Pelé who was supported by a fantastic team.[1] The argument over which of the two legends was a better football player may always be up for discussion, as it was shown in 2000 when FIFA controversially awarded both men FIFA Player of the Century. The difference however, was once pointed out by Terry Butcher when he said: “when you think about what Pelé achieved and what he stands for, he cannot be surpassed.”[2] Maradona and others may have been great, but their own personal conduct depicted great weakness in character, while Pelé’s “behavior has been exemplary and has maintained credibility.”[3]

[1] Harris. Pele. 52.

[2] Harris. Pele. 54.

[3] Harris. Pele. 213.

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