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Pele the greatest, Maradona is next, says Carlos

Kolkata, Dec 22 : Football legend Carlos Alberto Torres, who led Brazil to the World Cup crown in 1970, Sunday rated his former teammate Pele higher than Argentine genius Maradona.


"Between Pele and Maradona, I will choose Pele. He is a great friend and I played alongside him for years. Maradona comes next to Pele," said Carlos, who was here to unveil the original FIFA World Cup trophy.

Carlos was replying to a poser from former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, the happiness ambassador of Coca Cola which has brought the trophy to India as part of a 90-country tour ahead of next year's tournament in Brazil. The trophy will stay in the football-crazy metropolis for two days.

Recalling the memorable moment of holding the Julet Rimet Tropy after a 4-1 victory over Italy in the World Cup final 43 years back, Carlos said: "There were a billion people and I was the one to hold the trophy. It was a huge privilege."

Carlos had scored his side's last goal, considered one of the greatest in the history of the tournament.

By claiming its third World Cup in 1970, Brazil earned the right to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently. The trophy was introduced from the 1974 tournament but it cannot be won outright -- the winners receive a gold plated replica.

Regarded as one of the best defenders of all time, Carlos said he sincerely hoped to see India play the World Cup Finals some day.

"There is lot of talent in India. It is important to nurture talent," said the 69-year-old Carlos, who is on his second visit here -- the only stopover in India for the trophy.

Carlos was part of the star-studded Cosmos football club of the United States which had played an exhibition game with city giants Mohun Bagan in 1977. The match played before a full house at the Eden Gardens had ended in a 2-2 draw with Carlos scoring a goal.

--IANS (Posted on 22-12-2013)

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