Pele has bemoaned his long-running feud with Diego Maradona and expressed hope that the Argentina legend can be successful in his efforts to rid football of corruption.
Widely regarded as the greatest players in the game’s history, Pele and Maradona have often traded insults amid a decades-long global debate about who was better.
“Anyone who knows Maradona knows he’s a cool guy and he’s always good for a chat,” Pele said in an interview published by Brazil’s Uol news outlet on Friday.
“But when he’s going to give an interview or make some kind of decision, I don’t know what happens to him,” added the three-time World Cup winner for Brazil.
Pele, 76, said he wished the former Argentina No. 10 as he reportedly discusses a new ambassador role with football’s governing body FIFA.
Maradona, who is credited for almost single-handedly taking Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, has said his main priority in the position would be to stamp out graft in Argentine football.
“I hope, if there is any conflict, that he can do something to solve the problem, let’s see if it works out for him. It’s the best opportunity that he has,” Pele said.
Never one to hide his opinion, the Brazilian legend revealed misgivings about Brazilian football’s current poster boy, Neymar.
When asked how he rated the Barcelona forward among the games current top players, Pele said: “I think the only problem that Neymar has is his aerial ability. Cristiano Ronaldo is not technically a better player than Neymar. But he is very good in the air.”
“You never see a Neymar headed goal and that carries weight when you weigh him up.”
Pele now walks with the aid of a walking stick after hip replacement surgery and a number of other health ailments in recent years.
But he insisted he does not fear death.
“Pele is immortal. But Edson is going to die one of these days,” he said. “We have to face death like something that is natural and not worry about it. Because when it comes it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are.”
(INPUTS FROM XINHUA NEWS AGENCY)