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Launching Today...Icon Collection

Posted by john smith on

Before there was Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, there was Pele and Maradona.

It was a debate that happened well before Twitter was a concept. There was no argument that they were the two best players of all time; but who was the best?

In the Pele camp you had the likes of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff .

Cruyff stated; "Pelé was the only footballer who surpassed the boundaries of logic."

Hungary star Ferenc Puskás stated; "The greatest player in history was Di Stéfano. I refuse to classify Pelé as a player. He was above that."

1966 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore commented: "Pelé was the most complete player I've ever seen, he had everything. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Quick. Powerful. Could beat people with skill. Could outrun people. Only five feet and eight inches tall, yet he seemed a giant of an athlete on the pitch. Perfect balance and impossible vision. He was the greatest because he could do anything and everything on a football pitch. I remember Saldanha the coach being asked by a Brazilian journalist who was the best goalkeeper in his squad. He said Pelé. The man could play in any position".

Pelé became the youngest player to play in a World Cup final match at 17 years and 249 days.

Despite leading his nation to 3 World Cup victories, he never tested himself in Europe (it was not the done thing back then) and bar a short spell in America, all of his career was for Santos in Brazil.

If Pele was football's Golden Boy, Diego Maradona was its loveable rogue.

One part brilliant, one part controversial, Maradona was a superstar that made headlines on and off the pitch.

Lionel Messi stated "Even if I played for a million years, I'd never come close to Maradona. Not that I'd want to anyway. He's the greatest there's ever been."

Maradona was labelled "the best player I’ve seen in my life" by Marcel Desailly and "“the greatest player of all time, by a long way. A genuine phenomenon” by Gary Lineker.

Whereas Pele remained in the Americas, Maradona did venture over to Europe - joining firstly Barcelona for a world record fee and then Napoli.

Maradona led Napoli to 2 Serie A titles. Many consider this his crowning achievement and what sets him apart from Pele. He also lifted the World Cup for Argentina.

Maradona was more than a football. He was a rock star.

So it is with this in mind we decided to lead our Icon Collection with the two greatest players that ever lived.

Our Icon Collection is out now.