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The Best Soccer Player of the Century
Summary: Whose legacy shall it be? O Rei or Maradona
When FIFA announced the poll on which the award of the 'Greatest Footballer of the Century' would go, two celebrated names dominated the survey, on magazine and the internet: Pelé and Maradona. Rightfully so, these two legendary superstars had known o equal since their time until the present. The differences of their assets are so slim that everyone had really a tough time deciding between the two. It resulted an animosity between two groups, fans of Pelé and fans of Maradona. The enmity carried on for some time even after the awards were given.
If you were to cast a vote, who will it be? Check out these short biographies of the two legendary soccer players.
Named Edson Arantes do Nascimento but commonly known as Pelé, is regarded by many to be the best soccer player of all time. He is regarded as the ultimate midfielder and attacking player, having exceptional qualities needed for these positions. Though he plays strictly attacking player, he is by far a better passer than most of his midfielder teammates, often feeding assists in critical areas that mostly results in a goal.
But what made him immortal is his presence in front of a goal. His ability to create goals is somewhere above human level. Dribbling skills, high-speed pace and powerful shots earned him 1,281 goals for his 1,360 games during his career. So that would mean only 79 games did he play without scoring compared to the rest 1,281. And today's best soccer players can barely score 30 goals in a season.
While Pelé is the perfect gentleman on and off the field, Maradona is soccer's meanest boy. Nevertheless, Diego Armando Maradona is also an unsurpassed master of the ball as well as the most controversial. In fact, the rivalry for the title 'The Greatest Player of the Century' was so heated that the sponsoring label FIFA shared the title between the two of them.
Though Pelé supporters would claim that Maradona haven't made the best impact all throughout his career, Maradona would point out that Pelé played the better part of his years in Brazil where the competition is less stiff. Maradona did have a good point, especially since the European league is by far a lot tougher than the South American leagues.
Short and stocky, with a pair of strong legs and low center of gravity gave Maradona exceptional gifts for soccer. But what made him a legend is his amazing wizardry at the ball. Not even Pelé, who is also a genius in ball handling, has displayed such prowess with the ball. His ability to go full speed with the ball and suddenly change direction still at full speed has defeated more than a few defenders. His kicks could also rival that of Pelé, being able to effectively kick the ball with ease explosively with both feet.
While Maradona owned the greatest natural talent ever in soccer history, it is his attitude that marred is otherwise impressive stats. It could have been much more impressive if he had made the right turns during his prime years. Nevertheless, there were some moments when he did shine, especially when he played for his beloved Argentina. And it was in these moments that marked him as one of the best soccer players of the century, after the celebrated Pelé.