In an interview with the FIFA Weekly magazine published Friday, the Brazilian legend suggested the 26-year-old Argentinian deserved to win the Ballon D’Or for a fifth time despite an injury-wracked 2013, Xinhua reported.
“[Franck] Ribery, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo all have different characteristics, but all are attackers like me,” Pele said. “In terms of the role he plays within the team, Messi has the style which is most similar to mine.”
When asked to name his favourite current player, Pele replied: “I really can’t compare those four players. It’s impossible to answer that question.”
Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are more similar, but Ribery is a classic playmaker, and Messi simply can’t be compared with anybody.”
The Ballon D’Or winner will be announced on Jan 13. The three finalists are Franck Ribery, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.