"He is the most complete player I ever saw."
"I told myself before the game, he's made of skin and bones just like everyone else — but I was wrong."
TARCISIO BURGNICH, WHO MARKED PELE IN 1970 WORLD CUP FINAL
"An artist in my eyes is someone who can lighten up a dark room. I have never and will never find difference between the pass from Pele to Carlos Alberto in the final of the World Cup in 1970 and the poetry of the young Rimbaud. There is in each of these human manifestations an expression of beauty which touches us and gives us a feeling of eternity."
"I sometimes feel as though football was invented for this magical player."
SIR BOBBY CHARLTON
"Pele was the only footballer who surpassed the boundaries of logic."
"The best player ever? Pele. [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both great players with specific qualities, but Pele was better."
ALFREDO DI STEFANO
"We went up together to head a ball. I was taller, had a better impulse. When I came back down, I looked up in astonishment. Pele was still there, in the air, heading that ball. It was like he could stay suspended for as long as he wanted to."
FORMER ITALY DEFENDER GIACINTO FACCHETTI
"When I saw Pele play, it made me feel I should hang up my boots."
JUST FONTAINE, TOP SCORER AT 1958 WORLD CUP
"The best of all was Pele, who is a mixture of Di Stefano, [Diego] Maradona, Cruyff and Leo Messi."
ARGENTINA'S WORLD CUP-WINNING COACH CESAR LUIS MENOTTI
"Pele was the most complete player I've ever seen. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Quick. Powerful. Could beat people with skill. Could outrun people. Only 5 ft 8 in tall, yet he seemed a giant of an athlete on the pitch. Perfect balance and impossible vision."
"I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I went away convinced I had been undone by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of us."
BENFICA GOALKEEPER COSTA PEREIRA, AFTER 5-2 DEFEAT TO PELE'S SANTOS
"There's Pele the man, and then Pele the player. And to play like Pele is to play like God."
"Messi has all the conditions to be the best, but first he has to beat Maradona, Romario and then eventually Pele."
"Pele is the greatest player in football history, and there will only be one Pele in the world."