Pele: My Santos could've matched Barca

Football legend Pele has declared that his former Santos team would have emulated the current success achieved by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side.

Lionel Messi, Pele

Barca are widely labeled as the best footballing side on the planet right now, with their penchant for flowing and exquisite football making them renowned as being the aristocrats of the Beautiful Game.

However, World Cup winning forward Pele, who himself featured in a Santos side which claimed two Copa Libertadores titles and two Intercontinental Cups among other accolades during the 1960s, believes that his former Brazilian side would have stood toe-to-toe with the Catalan outfit.

"There was a time, 15 or 20 years ago, where the game was more defensive," he told France Football.

"But the technique remains the same."

"We are talking about Barca's current team, but we do not remember that Santos, during the 60s, had a fantastic team which could have dominated the world under similar circumstances."

Pele then dismissed the notion of comparing himself to current Barca wizard Lionel Messi, although the Brazilian lauded the magnificent footballing talents of the nippy Argentine.

"Messi is a fantastic player," he added. "It is true happiness to watch him on the field.

"I have a lot of respect for Messi, just like I had for [Johan] Cruyff, [Franz] Beckenbauer or [Michel] Platini.

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