"If you ask me, 'Was he better than Messi?' Yes, he was. Much better. (Franz) Beckenbauer, (Johan) Cruyff are also better. They're also excellent players."
Pele and Maradona have not always seen eye to eye, but Pele said the pair now enjoy a "perfect" relationship.
In recent years he has suffered a series of health problems, but said he is now feeling 100 per cent.
Pele also revealed that he spoke to compatriot Neymar about the Paris Saint-Germain forward's penchant going to ground when tackled.
"It's difficult to defend Neymar for all the things he does beyond playing football. I talked with him, I told him that in soccer, he's got it. He had bad luck because the team didn't win the World Cup and he was branded," Pele said.
"I was with him twice in Europe. We talked and I told him: 'In soccer, God gave you a gift, but what you did is what made it difficult."
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)