New Delhi: The debate on who's first among equals - Pele or Diego Maradona has always invoked fanatic reactions across the world. But now the eternal rivalry has just gone a step ahead.
Maradona has shown that he doesn't suffer from a lack of self confidence by insisting that the legendary Brazillian was the second best player ever after himself .
A FIFA internet poll in 2000 saw Maradona come out on top, and he said on Wednesday that should have settled the debate once and for all.
Admitting that Pele won three World Cups compared to his just one in 1986, Maradona said that he played in Europe with great success for 10 years, which Pele never did.
"I played in European football for 10 years while Pele played in South America. Yes he won World Cups and everything, but playing in Europe is something else entirely. When I played, the man-markers in Spanish and Italian football were like hunting dogs. They never left me alone. When people voted to determine the best player ever in 2000, he came second behind me. And there was another vote in Brazil in which he came second behind Ayrton Senna. He needs to stop coming second," Maradona told FIFA.com.
Pele, born on October 23, 1940 at Tres Coracoes in Brazil and whose real name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, won theree World Cups with the Brazilian team in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
Maradona on the other hand led Argentina to their second World Cup triumph in Mexico 1986. The Argentine was born on October 30, 1960, in Lanus, Buenos Aires.