Messi, who has won the Ballon d'Or three times, is widely considered as one of the best players of all time.
However, Pele believes that the Argentine needs to win more at international level before he takes his place amongst the greats.
"When Messi's scored 1,283 goals like me, when he's won three World Cups, we'll talk about it," said the 71-year-old.
"Football changes. Records are there to be broken, but it will be hard to break mine.
"People always ask me, 'When is the new Pele going to be born?' Never. My father and mother have closed the factory."
Pele made over 1,200 appearances for Santos and the New York Cosmos during his 21-year playing career.