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Did Pelé ever play against Maradona in an official soccer game?

The two legendary figures sat at the pinnacle of the sport for decades, but did Pelé and Maradona ever share a pitch?

Did Pelé ever play against Maradona?

The latest news from Brazil suggests that the condition of football icon Pelé has worsened in hospital. The 82-year-old has been hospitalised after the chemotherapy he had been receiving as part of his cancer treatment became ineffective.

The football world is now holding its breath for updates on the health of an all-time great, coming just two years after the death of Diego Maradona in neighbouring Argentina.

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For many, Pelé and Maradona stand as the two greatest footballers of the 20th century and they cast a shadow over the sport to this day. Both men led their respective nations to World Cup success and they were jointly awarded FIFA’s Player of the Century in 2000.

But their careers barely overlapped and the two icons never played against each other in a competitive fixture.

This is predominately due to their age, with the Brazilian nearly two decades older. Pelé's career lasted from 1956 to 1977, while Maradona made his debut in 1976 and finally hung up his boots in 2000.

However post-retirement the two men did participate in a number of shared interviews and public appearances. In 2016, on the eve of the European Championships, the two legends came together in a five-a-side fixture in Paris.

Pelé and Maradona each coached a team of former stars, including Rio Ferdinand, Clarence Seedorf, Fernando Hierro and Fabio Cannavaro. The Argentine, aged 56 at that stage, even made a brief substitute appearance in the friendly fixture.

While fans would undoubtedly have salivated at the prospect of a showdown between peak Pelé and peak Maradona, their ages meant that it was not possible. But while they never shared a pitch in earnest, the two men both pulled on their nation’s iconic Number 10 shirt and took the team to World Cup glory.


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