London, Sep 25 (IANS) Expressing his admiration for reigning European champions FC Barcelona, football legend Pele has said the Catalan giants come closest to the style of the World Cup winning Brazilian teams of his generation.
The three-time World Cup winner also admitted that he would have liked to have played along side the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
“Today, Barcelona. They are the same style as Santos and Brazil of my day. Almost the same style,” the 74-year-old was quoted as saying by the Telegraph on Friday.
“I like the teams that play open football. Today it is difficult to decide which teams play that way,” he added.
Pele also waded into the fierce rivalry between Arsenal and Chelsea, asserting that he would have preferred to turn out for the former club if he was playing in the modern era.
“Between Chelsea and Arsenal? I would play for Arsenal. Do you think I still have a chance?” he quipped.
The legendary forward also criticised Chelsea striker Diego Costa for his conduct during the 2-0 win over Arsenal in their English Premier League (EPL) clash last Saturday.
Costa was retrospectively banned for three matches by the Football Association (FA) of England for violent conduct following an altercation with Arsenal defenders Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny.
“That is not a good message for children. But I don’t think he always used to play like that. Everybody is allowed to make one mistake but It is not good for football and it is not good for him,” Pele said.
“He didn’t get a red card, but he was charged. It was dirty. Unfortunately so many things like this happen on the pitch and this is not good. That’s clear. It is not good for football.”