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Updated on July 18th 2022, 3:25:31 am

Diego Maradona vs Pele stats and comparison

Pele and Diego Maradona were two of the greats to grace the game of football. In this article, we take a look at Diego Maradona vs Pele stats and comparison.

Pele and Diego Maradona were two of the greats to grace the game of football. They weren't direct rivals, but the perception of being the absolute best was something that meant a lot to the two South Americans. The South American pair did not play in the same era, as Ronaldo and Messi, with Maradona taking up the mantle in the 1980s into the 1990s, but that didn't stop the comparisons. The stats, of course, don't always tell the full story, but they are useful metrics nonetheless.

Pele vs Maradona: Club goals

Maradona scored over 300 club goals, while Pele struck over 700 club goals. However, any comparative analysis must take into consideration the variables, including position and clubs represented. While Pele was an advanced forward, Maradona was an attacking midfielder who dropped deep into his half to initiate attacks. The Argentinian played a lot of leagues around the globe, Napoli and Barcelona were notable among the other leagues. Pele, on the other hand, spent the majority of his career in Brazil with Santos before a swansong in North America with New York Cosmos. That Maradona had to navigate his way in Italy's Serie A, which was packed with clubs that were renowned for their defensive nous, and Spain's Primera Division, which at the time featured several notoriously tough defenders.

Also Read | Interesting Facts about Diego Maradona

Pele vs Diego Maradona International Stats

Pele's goalscoring record for Brazil is vastly superior to Diego Maradona's for Argentina. The Brazilian scored 77 goals for his country during his international career, while Maradona hit the back of the net 34 times. Both players played roughly the same number of games, which emphasizes Pele's goal scoring superiority, the Brazilian having a goals-per-game record of 0.84 and Maradona having 0.37. Of course, it should be noted again that Pele and Maradona played in different positions, with Pele often deployed in a more advanced position, whereas Maradona was much more of a traditional playmaker.

Also Read | Top 10 Brazil football legends of all time

Pele vs Diego Maradona: World Cup stats

Pele was part of the team that won 3 world cups( 1958, 1962 and 1970), while Maradona won the title just once (1986), though he lost in the final in 1990. Both players appeared at four World Cup tournaments, with Maradona making more appearances overall. Due to injury pele didn't play in the 1966 world cup, which affects his tally. Nevertheless, despite playing fewer games, Pele scored more goals than Maradona in the World Cup, with 12 strikes in 14 games (including goals in the 1958 and 1970 finals). Maradona scored eight goals in 21 World Cup games, including four in Argentina's successful 1986 campaign, though never in the final. His most memorable World Cup goals came in the same game - a quarter-final showdown with England.

Also Read | Top 10 Argentina football legends of all time

Pele vs Diego Maradona: Who won the most individual awards?

There is very little between Pele and Maradona when it comes to individual awards. Both players have won the World Cup Golden Ball, while they shared FIFA's Player of the Century award. France Football conferred each player with an honorary Ballon d'Or, but Pele was retrospectively deemed the 'alternative winner' of seven Ballons d'Or in 2016, whereas Maradona was the 'alternative winner' twice. Maradona was twice named the South American Footballer of the Year and Pele never had the honour because the award only began in the 1970s. As well as winning the Golden Ball in 1970, Pele was named the best player in the old South American Championship (now Copa America) in 1959.

Also Read | Interesting facts about Pele