Who’s the greatest: Pelé, Maradona... or Biro-Biro?

For more than 1000 reasons, we Brazilians don’t take the who-was-the-best quarrel between Pelé and Maradona that seriously. Few ideas in this century were dumber than FIFA's 2002 plan of granting the award to a player elected by a website poll. As one would expect, the Argentinian ended with 53% of the votes and the Brazilian with 18%. (If the Chinese had been granted full internet access at the time, any tiny fan-ridden campaign would have given the trophy to NBA star Yao Ming.) When the old geniuses in Switzerland finally realised the aberration that was about to happen, they decided to gather the "FIFA family” (journalists, coaches, players) to vote and than present the order to the winner – the internet poll was relegated to being a secondary award.Not surprising, Pelé then topped that FIFA list with 72% whilst Maradona was third with 6%, behind fellow Argentinian Di Stefano, with 9%. But it was too late. The Pibe’s fans (or God followers) always refer to the internet poll when entering into a serious debate to decide the best of all-time. Sorry folks, there's more to it than that.

The choice is yours: Maradona... or Biro-Biro? 

There’s no question that Maradona is a much more interesting figure than the former Santos star, whose self-bragging and bad-timing opinions can be extremely annoying sometimes. Remember, it was another Seleção legend, Romário, who once said that Pelé with his trap shut is a poet. “As a player, he’s our king, our god, but he has to stuff a shoe in his mouth to stop talking ****.” But comparing both on the pitch is out of place. Pelé is in a league of his own.And, to prove Brazilians don’t hold grudges with their neighbours of the South, we’re now launching a new definitive poll, sponsored by Coca-Cola, in which the Argentinian does have a shot.So we ask... Who’s the best: Maradona or Biro-Biro?The iconic Corinthians midfielder from the good old 80’s never had a good shot at the National team and probably couldn’t do more than 10 keepy-uppies, but he was a tractor on the pitch – not to mention being Carlos Valderrama’s fashion idol. Watch Coke’s delicious ad here.Look out, Maradona. Biro-Biro has a terrific record in elections – he was elected as an alderman in São Paulo right after his retirement, in 1989. Oh, and I forgot to say: there’s no internet voting. And unfortunately the ballot-boxes are only available in selected bars in Brazilian territory... Good luck Diego!

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