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The three-time World Cup winner says admires the Argentina captain greatly and believes that he is of a similar class to himself, Diego Maradona and Alfredo Di Stefano

Brazil icon Pele says that Lionel Messi is a "fantastic" player, though he claims to have had better hair than the Argentina icon.

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The debate of who is the best player of all time between Messi, Pele and Diego Maradona has raged on for some time, with some arguing that the Barcelona star cannot be seen as such until he wins a World Cup, as the latter two have done.

And Pele joked that the Albiceleste captain is set back by his hairstyle before admitting that the 27-year-old is in a similar class to himself, Maradona and Alfredo Di Stefano.

"No, I had better hair," he told reporters. "He's a fantastic player, I admire him, the same I used to admire Maradona and Di Stefano was an excellent player too. It's good for football but unfortunately we have very little this year."

The 73-year-old was asked what was behind Brazil's 7-1 semi-final humiliation to Germany but the three-time World Cup winner was at a loss to explain the remarkable match.

"No-one expected it," he remarked. "Since the beginning of the World Cup I said Germany could be one of the teams who could be in the final - unfortunately I also said Spain but the Spanish are out, though Germany are still there."