Asked how he feels about the Blaugrana talisman holding that status recently, the 78-year-old claimed that no player with "one skill" should be compared to him.
That does not sit well with Pele, however, who is adamant that there is no comparison between himself and the Barca star - whom he sees as something of a one-trick pony. A remarkable tally of 567 club goals have been recorded in 653 appearances, with another 65 netted in 128 outings for his country.
Pele is the only man to win the World Cup three times, hence many regard him as the greatest.
Nevertheless, this was only good enough to give him a fifth-place finish in this week's Ballon d'Or vote, as Real Madrid's Luka Modric walked off with the main prize - the first time since 2006 Messi has not attained a podium place at the prestigious gala. He claimed that according to him, Neymar is a better player than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Much better. [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff are also better.More news: 'Yellow Vests' Warn Macron of Greater Violence in Paris
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He continued: "How can you compare?"
"It's hard to defend Neymar for all the things he does outside of soccer".
Pele is impressed but thinks his compatriot Neymar is a superior player, "People compare me with Mbappe and there are similarities, right?"
And the often-controversial Piers Morgan has slammed Pele on Twitter for his comments, but his post has attracted a lot of attention from football fans. "He won the World Cup".
"I think that Neymar is a better player than he is, but in Europe, everyone talks more about Mbappe".
Pele has always been adamant that he is the greatest footballer of all time, but his swipe at the Argentine global really does seem petty at best.