After failing to be selected among the top-3 of the Ballon d'Or finalists for the first time in over a decade, Lionel Messi must now contend with a withering assessment of his talents from Pele.
Regularly presented with questions regarding the world's greatest ever player, the Brazilian legend Pele has somewhat spectacularly claimed that the limited Messi can't reasonably be compared with his fellow Argentine Diego Maradona, nor with Pele himself.
Speaking in an interview with Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, Pele dismissively looked upon the Barcelona captain as having just the "one skill."
"How are you going to compare someone who headed well and kicked a football with his left and right foot with someone who only used one foot, only had one skill and didn't head well?", Pele asked.
"To compare a player with Pele it has to be someone good with both feet who scores goals with his head.
"For me, Maradona was one of the best players ever, much better than Messi."
As for those (such as Xavi or Andres Iniesta) who profess to put Lionel Messi ahead of all others, well, channeling Jeff Bridges from The Big Lebowski, 'that's just their opinion, man.'
"It's a question of taste," Pele conceded. "There are people who think that."
Proceeding to describe his fellow countryman Neymar as being better than his club-mate and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, Pele also made note of his admiration Franz Beckenbauer and Johann Cruyff.
Pele's derisory take on Messi's capabilities comes not too long after Diego Maradona launched a similar attack on the esteem in which Messi is held.
"Messi is a great player but he doesn't get it," Maradona stated back in October.
"Before speaking to the manager, he will be on the PlayStation, and then on the field he asks to be and wants to be the leader.
"Don't worship Messi anymore. Messi at Barcelona is one thing and with Argentina he is another one."