(Reuters) - The time has come to clean up soccer's governing body FIFA "from top to bottom," three-times world champion Pele said on Friday.
Asked in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde about corruption in Brazilian football, Pele said: "There is some clean-up that needs to be done, but not only in Brazilian football.
"Now is a good time to clean up FIFA, from top to bottom."
FIFA has been plagued by corruption allegations in recent years, most notably with former Asian Confederation chief Mohamed Bin Hammam serving a lifetime ban after being accused of bribery while he was bidding to succeed FIFA president Sepp Blatter last year.
Bin Hamman withdrew from the race and Blatter, who later sparked a furor over comments about racism, was re-elected unopposed for a third term.
Pele, who won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970, also dismissed Argentine prodigy Lionel Messi as a potential threat to his legacy as arguably the world's greatest ever player.
"He is a great player. When he'll have scored 1,283 goals and won three World Cups, we'll talk about it again," he said.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows)