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    Pele would have been greater than Messi or Ronaldo claims Soccer Bowl foe Jocky Scott

    Pele would surpass the achievements of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if he played in the modern era.

    These are the words of Jocky Scott, who faced the great Brazilian in the last competitive match of his career in 1977.

    Pelé, who died last week at the age of 82, ended his illustrious playing career by spending two years with the New York Cosmos of the North American Football League, helping them win the 1977 Soccer Bowl against the Seattle Sounders before hanging up his boots.

    The three-time World Cup winner’s abilities are often compared to those of today’s greats Messi and Ronaldo, as well as the legendary Diego Maradona, but former Scottish striker Scott believes he should be recognized as the game’s greatest player.

    “I think you have to understand the different eras in football and in the last 10 or 15 years with Ronaldo and Messi they have earned the accolades they get as the best players,” Scott told Stats Perform.

    “But I think they are the best players of this era or were the best players of this era.

    “Now they are coming to the end of their career. Someone else will take on that mantle over the next 15 or 20 years, but in my opinion, I will always say that Pelé is by far the best player.”

    Scott added that Pelé would have achieved even more if he had enjoyed the benefits of modern football.

    “I think he would be better off,” Scott said.

    “Honestly, I think that any player like Pele, [Diego] Maradona, George Best, [Johan] Cruyff are attacking players who have great personalities and can score goals – these days, with the way the game is played where you’re practically not allowed to attack anyone, I think they would be much, much better players.

    “Physically he was a strong man, and when you look back at the pictures, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when he played for both Santos and Brazil, he was abused on the pitch.

    “He used to take a hell of a lot of abuse but he was still there after 90 minutes and he still brushed them off and scored the goals he scored.

    “When I ran into them [the Cosmos] in America it was in 1977. Pele would have been 36 years old at the time, his physique was incredible. He could still play. In my era, he was the best player in the world.”

    While Scott couldn’t stop Pele from ending his stay in New York with a 2-1 win, he still managed to smash the man from space into nutmeg during their meeting – a moment he still treasures to this day.

    “It’s not what you think about when you play. It’s just the case when the opponent received the ball and went past him, and he pulled me back and fouled me, ”he said.

    “Anyone who sees this photo at home and talks to me about it, I just laugh and tell them that I smeared him with nutmeg and he got his back, pulled me back and he didn’t like it.

    “It doesn’t matter who it was, but in the end it was a great photo for me.”

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