Ironically, I don't actually like football. But I can't let them get away with illogical arguments ...
Sir, Patrick Coffey (letter, Mar 24) objects to Diego Maradona being placed above Pelé in the greatest football player rankings on the ground, among others, that Pelé played in more successful teams and scored more goals. With respect, that is a reflection of the quality of their respective team-mates rather than their individual talents. Without Maradona the Argentine sides of his era would have been a footnote; without Pelé it is unlikely that Brazil would have been anything less than a great side.
Certainly Pelé’s conduct both on and off the pitch has been more commendable; but there is the old saying that nice guys finish last. The likes of Mike Tyson, George Best and Alex Higgins, for example, indulged in a fair bit of questionable conduct over the years, but their sporting greatness has not been downgraded as a result. If anything, Maradona’s astonishing natural ability is highlighted by the fact that his lifestyle was less than conducive to international sport.