Brazilian legend Ronaldinho has made some bold claims about Lionel Messi and the ongoing debate of who is the greatest footballer of all time. Dinho played with Messi for four years before completing a stunning move to AC Milan in 2008.
During that time, everybody talked about Lio being the successor of the Brazilian, something he did in a great fashion.
Now, Diario AS report Ronaldinho has expressed his opinion on who the football GOAT is, insisting that legendary players like Diego Maradona, Pele and Ronaldo were also in contention for the GOAT status, not only his former teammate.
"I'm glad for Messi because he's a friend, besides he's been a banner of Barcelona," he said.
"I don't like comparisons because it's hard to identify who is the best in history, there's Diego Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo, I can't say that Messi is the best ever, he is the best in his time."
Messi just won his sixth Ballon d’Or award, setting a new record, taking people to say there has been nobody better than him. The Argentinian striker also told his memories playing with Ronaldinho, praising the Ballon d'Or and World Cup winner for how he "mentored" him.
"Ronaldinho helped me a lot,” Messi said last month, via Sport Bible.
"I came into the dressing room at 16-17 years of age, seeing all those footballing giants made it tough.
"But he mentored me and made me feel comfortable, and I loosened up.
"Afterwards on the pitch, I always looked for him but we didn't have many years to enjoy together.
"Besides, we didn't play as much at that time. I would have liked to play more with Ronaldinho."
Perhaps Ronaldinho is right and it’s very difficult to compare players from different eras. However, a lot of people won’t be happy with his comments. Messi is a complete legend now and plenty of fans around the world consider him the greatest to ever play the game.