Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Pele and Diego Maradona ranked according to artificial intelligence

The debate over who is the greatest footballer of all time continues to rage, and now artificial intelligence has weighed in by ranking four true football legends

Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or for record eighth time after winning World Cup with Argentina

It’s a debate in football that may never be resolved, but now artificial intelligence has given it a great solution.

Lionel Messi claimed a record eighth Ballon d’Or crown this year, 12 months after the mercurial striker guided Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar. But despite this, many remain in the ‘GOAT’ camp of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Real Madrid icon continuing to score goals prolifically for club and country.

Nostalgists will read about the likes of three-time World Cup winner Pele and another Argentinian legend, Diego Maradona. All four players can claim to have lit up the big stage during their careers, and now technology has done its best to rank them.

4. Diego Maradona

Few would dispute that Diego Maradona is ranked as one of the four greatest players of all time, although Naples residents may question how there are three men ahead of him.

He was remembered by AI for his “outstanding dribbling skills, vision and ‘Hand of God’ goals”. It was, and he then hit the ball past Peter Shilton for one of the greatest individual goals in World Cup history.

Diego Maradona has close relationship with Lionel Messi(Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images)

Have your say! Who is the GOAT in football? Please comment below.

It was at the 1986 World Cup that he finally led Argentina to victory that would ultimately define his career. During his time at Napoli, he helped the team win two Serie A titles and a UEFA Cup, forever ensuring his godlike status.

3. Peel

Winning the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup with Brazil – but Pele’s career was about more than just statistics.

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