Pele crowns Cristiano Ronaldo as world's best - because Lionel Messi "isn't a goalscorer"
The question of whether the Portuguese or the Argentinian is the more gifted player has been one of the defining debates of the modern era.
Between them, Messi and Ronaldo have won 11 of last 12 Ballon d’Or awards.
The Barcelona star won his sixth gong in the most recent edition in 2019, taking him one ahead of his rival as the most successful player in the history of the famous individual prize.
But three-time World Cup winner Pele, considered one of the greatest players of all time, has now revealed where he stands in the debate.
"Today, Cristiano is the best in the world, although Messi should not be forgotten," Pele told YouTube channel Pilhado.
"However, Cristiano is more stable and Messi is not a goalscorer."
The 79-year-old highlighted other players from football history who could challenge the modern duo for recognition as the best ever – including himself.
“You cannot forget Zico, Ronaldinho or Ronaldo,” he said.
"In Europe there was Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff...
"It's not my fault but I think I was better than [Ronaldo and Messi], because everyone compares them to me.”