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Rivera: Messi is marvellous but Pele was the best

Former Italy star Gianni Rivera has heaped praise on Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, but feels the Argentine is not the best player of all time.

The 68-year-old Rivera has described Messi as the most talented player in the game at the moment, but is of the opinion that Brazil legend Pele was even better in his prime.

"Messi is quite a weapon for Barca. Having him in your team is huge, he's the most decisive player right now," Rivera was quoted as saying by AS.

"However, I do think there's someone who was even better and that's Pele. He used both feet on the pitch. He was as dangerous with his right as he was with his left. He was strong in the air as well, and created a lot of chances."

Messi became only the second player in history to win the Ballon d'Or three times in a row when he was crowned the best of 2011 earlier this year.

France legend Michel Platini is the only other player to achieved the remarkable feat.