Criticism is part of football. It is a man’s game after all. Coaches have to be straight with their players when it comes to compliments and criticisms.
That is the first step to improvement. You listen to your coach and you work hard to improve the things you’re lacking as a player.
But what happens when criticism comes from out of the club?
Should players respond to it? Or just ignore statements and focus on the game instead? But if a player that is considered to be the best of all time is constantly criticizing you, there must be something wrong.
Pele on Neymar
Pele is a legend in the world of football. But it’s hard to take him seriously when most of the time he prefers criticism over compliments.
There’s no doubt he has the right to say what’s on his mind, but does it have to be non-stop criticism?
‘Neymar is a good player,’ Pele told Brazilian sports magazine Placar. ‘But how many goals has he scored with his head in his life?’
‘He is an excellent player, but Vasconcelos, my team-mate at Santos, was 10 times better than Neymar, without any doubt.’
‘Neymar is an attacker, he plays up front, that is it,’ said Pele. ‘He does not track back, does not organise and does not come out to play. ‘
‘It’s difficult to compare him with so many players of the past when he has such weaknesses. Although, within the current Brazil team, he is the main figure, the only one.’
Maybe Pele is right. Or maybe he’s just a bit jealous because Neymar is getting closer to break his top scorer for the national team record?
Pele on Messi
“I would love to play with Lionel Messi.”
“But Messi is an incomplete player because he can’t use his head.”
“Messi has the same style as Maradona, the same kind of game. He is lucky because there is no one to compare him.” – Pele.
Yes, Pele is one of the greatest, but is Messi really an incomplete player? Yes, he’s not scoring many headers but that doesn’t mean he’s an incomplete player.
He’s a type of a player that every manager would like to have on his team. He can make things happen during a game. Scoring, assisting or dribbling, Messi is always under the spotlight in a positive way.
On the other hand, Pele never played in Europe. He did scored 1,284 goals in his career, but the offside trap wasn’t yet a part of football in his time.
He never mentions that out of those 1,284 goals, 526 were scored in unofficial friendlies and tour games.
On top of that, football wasn’t even close to what it is today.
Messi has to battle with world-class defenders. Strong, fast and experienced defenders. Messi plays in Europe, and he’s scoring 50+ goals per season.
Now that’s an impressive number.
We’re sure Messi and Neymar won’t bother with responding to Pele’s criticism. They both have a huge respect for the Brazilian legend. They already know that he has a habit of always saying what’s on his mind.