Maradona vs Pele – Who is The Best Footballer Ever?

Maradona vs Pele – Who is The Best Footballer Ever? Prior to the phrase “Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo“, Pele vs Diego Maradona were the two players that dominated the conversation about the best player of all time.

As the Selecao dominated the football world from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, Pele’s performances for Brazil and Santos earned him the moniker O Rei, or “The King.”

The comparisons were nevertheless made despite the fact that the South American pair did not play throughout the same period, with Maradona assuming leadership from the 1980s to the 1990s.

Maradona vs Pele

Of course, the Pele vs Maradona stats don’t always tell the whole story, but they are still useful metrics. So who was actually superior – Maradona and Pele who is the best? Our site Similarsports examines the statistics and other factors in the never-ending discussion.

Maradona vs Pele: Comparison Chart

Diego MaradonaPelé
Playing PositionSupporting striker, attacking Midfielder, or StrikerForward, Attacking Midfielder or Striker
Date of birthOctober 30, 1960October 23, 1940
Total goals scored356With 1281 goals in 1363 games, including unofficial friendlies and tour games, Pelé holds the record for most league goals scored in history.
Total Matches played6791363
Full NameDiego Armando MaradonaEdson Arantes do Nascimento
Place of BirthVilla Fiorito, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaTrês Corações, Brazil
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Recognition / AwardsMaradona received several honors, including the “Honorific Golden Ball” for his contributions to European football, the “Domingo Faustino Sarmiento” lifetime achievement award from the Argentine Senate, and the FIFA award for Player of the Century (People’s Choice, 2000).Pele was awarded the titles of “Athlete of the Century” (1999), “FIFA Golden Ball” for services to world football (FIFA and France Football 2014), “Guinness World Records” for Most Goals, and “Athlete of the Century” (experts’ choice, 2000).
Retirement Year19971977
National TeamArgentina. 34 goals in 91 appearances.Brazil. 77 goals in 92 appearances
Youth ClubsArgentinos JuniorsBauru AC
After retirementSuffered from ill health and underwent a stomach-stapling operation which helped control his weight gain. He became an Argentine TV personality after beating his cocaine addiction.Has been an ambassador for football and has also undertaken various acting roles (featured in ten films)and commercial ventures
Achievements after retirementBecame the coach of Argentina in the 2010 FIFA world cup.Awarded Brazil’s Gold Medal for extraordinary contributions to sport in 1995, named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for ecology and the environment, and designated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
International titlesFIFA World Cup (1986), Copa UEFA (1988-89)Football World Cup (1958, 1962, 1970) Intercontinental Cup (1962, 1963), Copa Libertadores (1962, 1963), and Intercontinental Supercup (1968)

Pele vs Maradona goals

Maradona vs Pele goals

Club goals

It is impossible to draw an exact comparison because of the conflicting reports regarding Pele’s goal total, some of which include goals from non-competitive games, but all of the Brazilian’s totals still outnumber Maradona’s.

Pele scored almost 700 club goals, compared to Maradona’s over 300. Any comparison analysis, however, must take into account the many factors, such as the positions and clubs represented.

Diego Maradona was an active midfielder who dropped deep into his own half to start attacks, unlike Edson Arantes do Nascimento who was a skilled striker.

International goals

Compared to Diego Maradona for Argentina, Pele has scored far more goals for Brazil. During his time playing for his country, the Brazilian scored 77 goals, while Maradona only managed 34 goals.

Given that both players played about the same number of games, Pele’s goal-scoring ability is highlighted. The Brazilian had a record of 0.84 goals per game compared to Maradona’s 0.37.

Naturally, it should be emphasized once more that Pele and Maradona played in different positions, with Pele frequently used in a more advanced position and Maradona being much more of a typical playmaker.


Who has won more trophies?

In terms of championships won, Pele outplayed Maradona.

The Brazilian won three World Cups, two Copa Libertadores with Santos, two Intercontinental Cups, and one Intercontinental Supercup in addition to the Copa Libertadores. Besides, with Santos, he won six Brasileiro championships, and with New York Cosmos, he won the NASL Bowl. Pele also holds four titles from the Torneio Rio-Sao Paulo and ten titles from the Campeonato Paulista.

While Diego Maradona had some success in Argentina, Spain, and Italy, his most fruitful years were spent in Napoli, where he won two Serie A championships, a Coppa Italia, a Supercoppa Italiana, and the UEFA Cup. The Argentine won the Supercopa de Espana, Copa del Rey, and Liga at Barcelona while also taking home the Primera Division Metropolitano at Boca. Maradona also won the FIFA World Youth Championship, which is the equivalent of the World Cup for young players.

Maradona vs Pele skills

Some believe Pele to be the greatest footballer. He is a proficient ball header and scores with both feet. Moreover, he has technical skills and is physically fit. In the other two, he was virtually unstoppable thanks to his exceptional scoring, athleticism, and dribbling talents. Pele took over and scored significant goals.

Besides, like Pele, Maradona is adored among football fans. The heritage of the Argentine is universal. It extends to cities and nations in addition to the football field. In addition, Maradona’s left foot is a magic wand. With it, he ruined opponents’ plans. He had excellent ball control, passing, vision, and dribbling abilities. Additionally, his team benefited greatly from his leadership abilities.

Maradona vs Pele skills


Whatever your point of view, these players, Maradona vs Pele, will always be regarded as two of the best ever among football fans. But we want to know from you: Which football legend do you believe is better? Maradona or Pele? Comment with your ideas below, and don’t forget to visit our website Sporting difference for more interesting football comparisons.

Similar Posts