Diego Maradona and Pele are two of the leading contenders for the greatest player of all time. And since neither has any sense of humility, they have been bickering at each other for decades in a vain attempt to preserve their respective supremacy.
In recent years, it is the diminutive Argentinean who has had the sharper tongue: last month he made fun of Pele's gentleman's lunchbox and he recently accused the former Viagra spokesman of mixing up his pills when he compared himself to Beethoven and Michelangelo.
The former Napoli star has gone a step further this week, by pooh-poohing a FIFA award that Pele was given thirteen years ago.
In 2000, Maradona won FIFA's Player of the Century Award after garnering over 53% of an online vote. Pele managed a little over 19% of the votes. However, for no particular reason, FIFA decided to honor Pele with a "Football Family" award from a committee of journalists at the same ceremony, which meant both players effectively tied for the Best Player of the Century Award.
Saint Diego still hasn't let this fishy incident go, and has let everyone know what he thinks of FIFA's decision to make him split his greatest player title with his mortal enemy. ESPNFC has the quotes:
"In 2000 I won the Player of the Century award thanks to the people. Pele was second. He also came second behind [Ayrton] Senna as Brazil's greatest sportsman.
"The award that FIFA gave Pele isn't worth s**t."
Maradona also worked his way off of Sepp Blatter's Christmas card list with a tirade against football's governing body:
"The FIFA directors are all over 95 years old!
"The people there are so old that they cannot even drive a car, so how do they lead the world of football?"
None of FIFA's directors are actually over 95 years old, but Diego is probably just being a bit of a Grumpy Gus this week because Italy have started to turn up the heat about getting back the €39m in tax he still owes them.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Diego Maradona