Messi better than Maradona, but not Pele

The former attacker has voiced his opinion that the Barcelona star has surpassed his countryman, but is not up there with the Brazil legend yet

Former Brazil international Tostao has stated his belief that Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is a better player than Diego Maradona was, but stressed that the 24-year-old is not of Pele's level just yet.

Messi won the Fifa Ballon d'Or for the third time in succession earlier this year, and is considered by many to be one of the best ever.

However, 65-year-old Tostao feels that the Barca striker still has some way to go before he can be considered Pele's equal.

"Even if you do not take the cold numbers of how many trophies he has won and how many goals he has score into account, I have no doubt about it that he [Messi] is already better than Maradona," Tostao said to Globoesporte.

"Many will disagree because he has not won a World Cup or scored a wondergoal in a big game at the World Cup, but at his current level he is only behind Pele in my opinion.

"Pele was more complete and had qualities that Messi lacks. He scored many headers for example, and make excellent use of his body."

Messi has already netted 35 goals in 28 La Liga appearances in the 2011-12 season.

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