Speaking during an event in Sao Paulo on Thursday, the three-time World Cup winner claimed the 26-year-old Argentine had benefited from playing alongside his Barcelona teammates, media reported.

Asked if Messi, a four-time winner of the Ballon d'Or, was among the best of all time, Pele replied: "He still needs to surpass Zidane, who I think was better.”

"Messi is the best in the world at the moment, but he has great players around him like Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta."

Pele added that he hoped Brazil would meet Uruguay in 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana stadium to avenge the Selecao's loss to their neighbors at the same venue in the 1950 tournament.


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