Brazilian legend Pele insisted on Friday that Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, a UEFA Champions League winner with Barcelona and three-time Ballon D'Or king, cannot yet be considered as one of the world's greatest players.
Pele called on his own record of three FIFA World Cup triumphs as well as a career tally of 1283 goals to reserve judgement on the little Argentine wizard.
"Some people will say that Beethoven didn't know how to play the piano, that Michelangelo couldn't paint and that Pele didn't know how to play football," Pele told Le Monde newspaper.
"When Messi scores 1283 goals like me, when he wins three World Cups, then we can talk about it again.
"Football changes and records are there to be beaten, but it'll be very hard to beat mine. People ask me all the time: 'When is the new Pele going to be born?'
"Never. My father and mother have closed the factory."
Players from Argentine club Arsenal de Sarandi have returned home after spending part of the night in cells after a bizarre confrontation with Brazilian police at the end of a Copa Libertadores match.