Brazil head coach Tite has dismissed Lionel Messi’s credentials as the greatest footballer of all time after insisting comparisons between him and Pele have no credibility.
Tite and Messi exchanged words in Friday’s friendly against Argentina, with Tite claiming the Barcelona forward told him to shut up during the friendly defeat in Riyadh.
Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of Brazil legend Pele scoring his 1,000th goal and, speaking ahead of his side’s clash against South Korea in Abu Dhabi the same day, Tite says three-time World Cup winner Pele remains out in front when it comes to the question of whether he or Messi is best player to ever play the game.
He said: “Pele is incomparable. Anybody who wants to compare Pele to any other athlete…do you know what I do? I hear but I don`t listen.
“It’s as if this person doesn’t know the history of this man’s quality… this guy was phenomenal. Once I said that Messi is extraordinary.
“I meant he’s extraordinary to the present time and among humans, with his creativity. Pele is out of normal patterns and I’m not saying this because I’m a Brazilian. You can’t find a defect.
“If somebody comes to me and starts to make comparisons, for me it has no credibility.”
The loss to Argentina meant Brazil are now five matches without victory, yet Tite remains philosophical over the Copa America winners’ form.
During that run, which began following Brazil’s Copa America victory over Peru, Tite’s side have drawn Colombia, Senegal and Nigeria while losing to Argentina and Peru.