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Pele: “I’d rather play for Arsenal than Chelsea”

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele

In this Wednesday, April 2, 2014 photo, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, is interviewed at The Associated Press in New York. As soccer’s showcase returns to the land of “jogo bonito” (the beautiful game), Pele’s views are sought. He even has a new book, “Pele: Why Soccer Matters,” which was released this week by Celebra. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)


Pele has only gone and got himself involved in the Arsenal vs. Chelsea debate.

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The legendary Brazilian striker, who alongside Diego Maradona is believed to be among the greatest players to walk this planet, has been quoted by the Metro in London as saying that he “would play for Arsenal” if given the choice between the Gunners and Chelsea.

Here’s what Pele, 74, had to say:

“Arsenal is a good team to play for. I like the teams that play open football,” Pele said. “Between Chelsea and Arsenal? I would play for Arsenal if I had the chance.”

And just in case Pele didn’t irk Chelsea fans with those comments, he also spoke out against Diego Costa’s actions in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal last weekend. Despite not getting sent off during the game, the Brazilian-born forward was retrospectively banned for three games after hitting Laurent Koscielny in the face twice off the ball. Costa then provoked fellow Brazilian Gabriel Paulista into getting a red card and Pele was not impressed with Costa’s actions.

“It is not a good message for children. He didn’t get a red card, but he was charged. It was dirty,” Pele added. “Unfortunately so many things like this happen on the pitch and this is not good. That’s clear. It is not good for football.”

So, this Arsenal-Chelsea rivalry continues to heat up, doesn’t it?

With Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger still embroiled in a bitter feud publicly, players from both clubs exchanging blows, multiple players being sent off during games and now Pele getting involved, perhaps this London rivalry is set to dominate the Premier League in years to come.

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