'No interest in joining the FIFA presidency race'

'No interest in joining the FIFA presidency race'
Pele, the greatest footballer of all time, will not join the race for the presidency of FIFA, the global football governing body, he said on Monday.

The Brazilian giant, who is an advisor to the global federation’s football committee, refused to take any questions on the corruption charges that have mired FIFA in its biggest controversy of recent times.

“No, I don’t have any intention to be president of FIFA,” the 74-year-old said while addressing his only press conference in Kolkata, a city he is visiting after 38 years.

The global football governing body has been in the news in recent times and last week, its president Sepp Blatter was suspended, along with French football legend, Michel Platini by the organisation’s ethics committee.

In an interview to Sky News last month, Pele urged Blatter to “tell the truth” about the corruption at FIFA and stressed on the need for a clean-up within the international governing body. On Monday, just 10 days away from his 75th birthday, Pele, however, was in no mood to court any controversy.

When asked about reigning football star, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Pele said, “I had the opportunity to play with a lot of excellent players Like Bobby Moore but I believe in the last 10 years Messi was the best.”

While Pele said Messi was close to both him and Maradona, the Brazilian giant seemed treading carefully around the subject, hardly discussing Maradona during the press conference.

Football enthusiasts around the world worship Pele but have a soft spot for Maradona, who shared FIFA’s ‘Player of the Century’ title with Pele. The Brazilian’s won three World Cups — in 1958, 1962 and 1970 while the Argentine’s lone title success came in 1982.

While Pele is considered the ‘King of Football’, when asked on Monday who he believed is the ‘Prince of Football’, the legend pointed at former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and said on a lighter note, “We have a prince sitting right here.” Ganguly, the co-owner of Atletico de Kolkata, is better known in cricket fields across the world as the ‘Prince of Calcutta’.

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