The name of the late Brazilian soccer legend Pele has always been associated with the Argentine star who preceded him in departure, Diego Armando Maradona, and they have always been considered the best duo in the history of football, despite their retirement decades ago.

The duo remained in an irreconcilable competition for the title of "the greatest in history", and this will continue after their death. Pele, nicknamed "The King", died Thursday at the age of 82, among the greats, while Maradona, known as the "magician" died in November. The second, 2020, at the age of 60, suffered a heart attack.

Although the first popular game produced in its modern history outstanding talents capable of competing for the title of "the greatest", especially Argentine Lionel Messi, who was finally crowned with the Qatar 2022 World Cup title, Pele and Maradona enjoyed historical fame that spanned decades.

Here are 4 main points of comparison:

Triple coronation and title in 1986

Pele participated in 4 World Cup finals between 1958 and 1970, and he is still the only player to win the title 3 times (1958, 1962, when he missed most of the matches after suffering an early injury, and 1970).

The first coronation came in Sweden and Pele was still 17 years old, and on that day he achieved a historic achievement when he became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final match, and he remained alone in that to the final of the World Cup Russia 2018 when Frenchman Kylian Mbappe joined him.

The Brazilian scored 6 goals in his first World Cup, two of them in the final and a hat-trick in the semi-finals.

After 4 years, he lifted the trophy again, despite his limited contribution, after he was injured in the second match of the finals.

After the disappointing exit from the 1966 World Cup in England, Pele returned strongly in Mexico 1970 and led his country to a third title.

As for Maradona, who was born in 1960 (that is, 20 years younger than Pele), he was absent from the Argentine squad that lifted the World Cup for the first time in its history in the 1978 World Cup at home.

He attended the 1982 World Cup in Spain, but received a red card in losing 1-3 to Brazil in the second round (the last stage before the semi-finals, according to the tournament system at the time).

Maradona printed the World Cup Mexico 1986 in his name unchallenged for various reasons, most notably his leadership of Argentina to its second world title after matches in which he presented indelible glimpses of the memory of the fans of the game.

Perhaps the most prominent match that will remain stuck in the mind, the quarter-final meeting against an English team that included in its ranks that day the World Cup top scorer Gary Lineker.

On June 22, 1986, Maradona gave his country a 2-1 victory with two immortal goals: the first with a clear hand touch that the referee did not count, and the Argentine player described it after that as “the hand of God,” and the second after an amazing individual effort from the middle of the field, during which he crossed more than English player and goalkeeper Peter Shilton, before depositing the ball in the goal, scoring a goal that many critics consider the most beautiful in the modern history of the game.

He scored both goals in the semi-final victory over Belgium (2-0).

And although he did not score in the final against West Germany (3-2), he provided the assist for Jorge Burruchaga's winning goal.

Number 10 and Number 10

The two players wore the number 10 shirt, which carries great symbolism in football teams: Pele between 1956 and 1977, and Maradona between 1976 and 1997.

Pele and Maradona turned from rivals to friends (Reuters)

Pele's role on the field was often viewed as "the number 9 and a half", with a prolific goal-scoring that reached 1281 goals in 1363 matches (according to FIFA statistics), distributed between two teams he defended their colors, that is, the Brazilian Santos and the American New York Cosmos, and the national team " Seleção, with whom he played 92 matches, is still his historic scorer with 77 goals, equal to the current star Neymar.

As for Maradona, he was seen more as a free playmaker who switched between defenders as he pleased, and during his career he scored 345 goals in 692 games.

An example and a troublemaker

Pele knew only two clubs during his long career: Santos (1956-1974) and Cosmos (1975-1977), and he was always seen as a committed hero, a respected man, and an example in the world of the game. His football career was not tainted by any scandal.

As for Maradona, the son of a country that gave birth to Che Guevara, he was the riotous child on and off the green rectangle: he moved between 6 clubs, won a red card in the 1982 World Cup, was expelled from the national team during the 1994 World Cup in the United States after failing a doping test, and suffered from cocaine addiction.

Brazilian and Argentinian

An aspect of the club between the players is due to their South American affiliation, and the conflict over the site between Brazil and Argentina.

The relationship between them was not at its best, and things were made worse by the statements and actions of both parties, as well as by their respective fans.

Pele, who is honored by a museum bearing his name in Brazil, had previously considered that Maradona was not a role model for children in love with the game, especially in light of his permanent problems with drugs.

Pelé's message to Maradona after the Argentine passed away in 2020.

RIP legends 🙏

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 29, 2022

Maradona, on the other hand, openly mocked Brazil's humiliating fall at home in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals, 1-7 against Germany.

The Brazilian fans responded with chants, in which they compared Pele, "who scored a thousand goals" and Maradona, "who sniffs (cocaine)", during which they asked the Argentines about their feeling of being crowned with only two World Cups, that is, "less with a title than Pele" (Argentina added a third cup in 2022) .

Pele's most prominent comment after Maradona's death was, "One day, I hope we will play football together in heaven."

A week later, he sent him a letter saying, "Your journey was marked by honesty. You were always clear. In your unique and special way, you taught us that we have to love and say 'I love you' more often.. Your quick departure did not allow me to say that to you, so I will just write." : I love you, Diego."