Brazilian star Edilson says he played better than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint Germain’s Neymar. He said before they can argue with him, they should go and win the FIFA World Cup for their countries.
Edilson who retired from active football in 2010 at 39-year-old, played for the Brazilian national team between 1993 and 2002. In between those years, he was in and out of the national team because of controversies. Before he finally ran out of favours, he managed to make 21 appearances for the national team scoring only 6 goals.
The height of his football career came in 2002 when he was part of the Brazilian national team that won the prestigious FIFA World Cup. During the World Cup hosted in South Korea and Japan, Edilson played only four matches scoring no goals. He was a used substitution in the games against China and England and started in the matches against Costa Rica and Turkey.
After the World Cup, he was not called to the Brazilian national team again until he retired from football in 2010. Between that period, he left Brazilian league, where he mostly played his professional career, to join Cruzeiro, a Japanese club. He didn’t spend more than two years there before he returned to Brazil to continue playing club football.
Besides winning the World Cup with Brazil, Edilson has won four Brazilian league titles with Palmeiras and Corinthians. He has also won Bola de Ouro, an award given to the best player in the Brazilian League.
Edilson is Better Than Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar until they win the World Cup
With all these achievements, Edilson told a Brazilian television network TV Bandeirantes that he played better than Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar at the peak of his career.
“At my best, I played better than Neymar,” he said. “He needs to win the World Cup in order to be better than me. I have personality, and for Messi to be better than me, he also has to win the World Cup.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is just strength; he strikes the ball well with both feet, but I’m more skilful than him.”
It is true that those players he mentioned are yet to win the FIFA World Cup which is regarded as the peak of football, one may argue that his role in the Brazilian team that won the cup was not so phenomenon compared to the power those players posses in their national team. Besides that, he was never recognised outside Brazil as the kind of phenomenon player he claimed he was while still active.
Between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo alone, there are 11 Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards. A feat footballers before and after them can only dream of.