Simulation proves who’s the true GOAT out of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Pele

A simulation has ‘proven’ who is the greatest footballer of all time out of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Pele.

A simulation has ‘proven’ who is the greatest footballer of all time out of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Pele.

The quartet are recognised by many as the four greatest players to have played the game – although others believe the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Alfredo Di Stefano, Ronaldo and Bobby Charlton also stake a claim to be in the final four.

In terms of individual honours granted to the four players we mentioned, Messi leads the way with eight Ballon d’Or wins, while Cristiano Ronaldo has five.

Maradona and Pele never won the award, as non-European players were not eligible until 1995.

But both players did win multiple World Cups, with Maradona lifting the trophy twice with Argentina, and Pele three times with Brazil. Messi also captained Argentina to success in 2022, while Ronaldo won Euro 2016 with Portugal.


Messi, meanwhile, has 45 career trophies to his name – more than any other player in the history of world football.

Ronaldo holds the record for most club goals scored out of the four players, with 891 at the time of writing. Messi has scored 850, while Pele netted over 700 goals in competitive games but many more in friendlies – which were contested against some of the top teams in the world at the time.

Now, EA Sports FC YouTuber Ramman has run a simulation using the video game’s career mode to see which player out of Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo and Messi would be the most successful.

Messi and Ronaldo are already active players in career mode, while Pele appears as an in-game icon. Maradona used to be an icon, but was removed from the game after he passed away in 2022 and has not yet been re-added.

You can watch the video below.

As part of his simulation, the YouTuber added Ronaldo and Messi to the Real Madrid squad, before creating custom characters for Pele and Maradona and placing them in Barcelona’s squad.

In season one, Real Madrid won La Liga, while Messi netted 26 goals and provided 19 assists. But it was Ronaldo who won the inaugural Ballon d’Or.

In season two, both clubs won a trophy – but Real lost in the Champions League final.

Maradona, meanwhile, smashed in 47 goals and provided nine assists, with Pele scoring 30 goals of his own. Unsurprisingly, it was the Napoli icon that scooped the Ballon d’Or.

He then won the next two Ballon d’Or prizes as he continued to dominate world football.

In season five, Real won the Champions League with Messi and Ronaldo – but it was Pele who won the Ballon d’Or.

Barca would miss out on the Champions League in season six, before Argentina and Portugal drew each other at the World Cup. Ronaldo put on a player of the match display as Portugal won 3-1, before going on to win the World Cup.

Maradona, though, scooped another Ballon d’Or, seemingly solidifying his virtual status as the greatest player of all time ahead of Ronaldo, Messi and Pele.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Lionel Messi, Pele, Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona, Real Madrid, EA Sports FC

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