‘Whatever Messi & Ronaldo do – Pele did it first’

Kaizer Chiefs executive chairman, Kaizer Motaung, believes the late Pele cannot be compared to any modern football player.

Motaung, who played for Atlanta Chiefs during his time in the North American Soccer League, says it was an honour and privilege to play against Pele.

“This is really sad news not only to the Brazilians and his family but to the entire world because Pele impacted millions of people around the world,” Motaung said paying his tribute to the late Brazilian.

“He was an inspiration to many people around the world. Playing against Pele, the occasion was big because we were not just playing against Santos but against the greatest player of all time.

When they came to play against Atlanta Chiefs, Pele was a leading figure and they beat us 6-2 and he scored three goals. I was happy because I also scored a goal, it was a consolation goal.

And off the field, you would not come across a humble person. After the match ended we took a picture together and that is a moment I will always cherish because Pele was more than a footballer.”

Despite winning three FIFA World Cups and scoring more than 1000 goals during his career, Pele is compared with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and the late Diego Maradona. But the Kaizer Chiefs chairman believes the Brazilian is the greatest of all time.

“When you look at modern football players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi – whatever they do – Pele did it first. He scored all types of goals. When we talk about Brazilian football, the first thing we talk about is Pele.

There are people like Maradona and Messi but Pele cannot be compared to anyone. It’s a very sad moment and it’s a great loss. I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family, Brazilian people and the entire football fraternity.”

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