Brazilian legend Ronaldo has claimed that there is "no doubt" that Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the best player in the world, despite the impressive form of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 35-year-old former Ballon d'Or winner was speaking about Spain's recent Euro 2012 triumph, when asked to give his opinion on the growing debate about who is the greatest footballer in the modern era.
"I am more a fan of Real Madrid," Ronaldo told Marca. "But there is no doubt that Messi is the best player in the world."
The South American star played for both Spanish giants that messrs Messi and his namesake Ronaldo currently turn out for, representing Barcelona between 1996 and 1997, as well as making over 200 appearances for Real in a career that ended in 2007.
In between, he enjoyed a five-year stint in Serie A with Inter Milan, before returning to La Liga to link-up with current Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo praised his former manager for his clever tactics used in Poland and Ukraine, using the 'false nine' to devastating effect as La Roja lifted the trophy, to secure their third successive major international tournament victory.
"Football has been changing," he continued. "I think Spain did a great job without a No.9. I know Del Bosque very well. I had him as a coach at Real Madrid, and he always played me as a pure No.9.
"It depends on each game, the opponent and much more [as to what formation you play]. I think the No.9 will always exist and will continue to figure in the game."