Much has been said over the last year whether or not Pelé should still be considered the all-time great of soccer after Lionel Messi was crowned World Cup champion with Argentina in Qatar 2022.
Their achievements and international success serve as strong arguments to consider one of them as the greatest player of all time over the other.
Pelé shouts out Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Morocco on their World Cup campaigns ❤️ pic.twitter.com/JpiXeQW55B— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) December 19, 2022
However, what is not up for debate is the fact that players like Messi – amongst the best players we’ve seen come after Pelé – have indirectly and in one way or another, replicated what the Brazilian did on the soccer pitch week in and week out and that, for many, holds a different value.
Pelé was the founding father of soccer magic
Edson Arantes do Nascimento had skills that have aged like fine wine.
Although the hundreds of goals, individual achievements and three World Cup wins are just some of many things that The King is known for, the Brazilian’s skill moves and jogo bonito were ahead of their time and criminally overlooked.
Pelé was doing moves and scoring goals in ways that players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and Zidane have all replicated throughout their career and a video that has gone viral on social media has done a perfect job of showing us how.
The King walked so the players we idolize today could run.
Pelé vinha do futuro, o MAIOR, MELHOR e não tem jeito.Que vídeo foda. pic.twitter.com/C5oOI0TBIS
— memes futebolisticos. - vito (@Mfutebolisticos) November 20, 2021
O Rei was doing the same chops, body feints, overhead kick goals, stepovers and rainbow flicks we see players do 60 years later. Ageless genius.
It’s very difficult to scale the amount of influence Pelé had for generations that followed his, and seeing how he was playing decades ago with such ease and at such a young age, comes to show just how great the Brazilian was and will continue being so.
Today’s soccer-watching generation must not be negligent of the impact that the Brazilian has had on the world of soccer. Without Pelé, the game might have not turned into the beautiful thing we enjoy and love today.