Pele: Di Stefano better than Diego
© AFP

Brazil legend Pele took a swipe at Diego Maradona on Thursday, saying he feels another Argentine-born player, Real Madrid's iconic former striker Alfredo di Stefano, is the best player ever.

"People talk about the best being Pele or Diego Maradona, but for me the best player ever was Alfredo Di Stefano," he told reporters in Madrid. "Maradona was a great player, but he could not kick with his right foot and did not score goals with his head. The only time he scored an important goal with his head, it turned out he had used his hand," he added.

People talk about the best being Pele or Diego Maradona, but for me the best player ever was Alfredo Di Stefano.
Pele speaking in Madrid

Pele was referring to Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' goal in Argentina's 2-1 win over England during the 1986 FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals in Mexico, when he fooled the referee by punching the ball into the net.

Last month Maradona, currently Argentina's national team coach, downplayed Pele's record, saying the Brazilian only played for South American clubs while he spent a decade at European sides. "He won more World Cups. But playing in Europe is another thing," said Maradona.

Di Stefano, who played for Real from 1953-63 and has been its honourary president since 2000, scored 418 goals in 510 games for the Spanish giants. A two-time European Player of the Year, he became a Spanish citizen in 1956.