Football

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi.

Cristiano Ronaldo declares himself the best player ever - Barcelona respond

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Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d'Or last week to move level with Lionel Messi and cement himself as the best player in the world right now.

The 2016/17 season was a stellar year for the Portuguese forward after he won Euro 2016, his first La Liga in five years and his third Champions League in four years.

Scoring 42 goals in 46 games is the kind of stat that has become the norm for the former Manchester United man, but even so, it has to be regarded as an incredible year.

Ronaldo, ever the modest footballer, believed that winning his fifth Ballon d'Or meant he should now be considered the greatest player in the history of the game.

"I'm the best player in history, in the good moments and the bad ones," he told France Football. "I respect everyone's preferences, but I've never seen anyone better than me. I have always thought that. No footballer can do the things I can. There's no player more complete than me.

"I play well with both feet, I'm quick, powerful, good with the head, I score goals, I make assists. There are guys who prefer Neymar or (Lionel) Messi. But I tell you: there's no-one more complete than me."

Pretty bold words from the 32-year-old, but there are precious few in the world who can argue with his accomplishments both in front of goal and in his trophy cabinet.

However, Barcelona are one of those few. Messi's employers couldn't help but comment on Ronaldo's words and they left no doubt who they believe the best player in history is.

FBL-BALLON-DOR-RONALDO-MESSI-COMBO

"Respect to the Ballon d'Or and to Cristiano Ronaldo," Vives said at a press conference."We have always considered him a great player and a great competitor.

"But here at the Camp Nou, we can see the best player in history every 15 days, which is Messi."

Messi and Ronaldo will forever be linked together thanks to a rivalry built on sheer greatness. One could argue they have pushed each other to new levels.

Already this season, Ronaldo has 14 goals to his name - but just four in La Liga - while Messi has 18. The story continues!

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