David Beckham has not allowed his allegiance to either Manchester United or Real Madrid to cloud his judgement when assessing who the best player in the world is, and the Paris Saint-Germain star has revealed he holds Lionel Messi in higher regard than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Beckham was able to experience Messi at first hand during PSG's defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, during which the Argentina scored in the first-leg and played an influential role off the bench in the second.
The former Manchester United winger could have been forgiven for believing Ronaldo is superior to Messi, given his time spent playing at Old Trafford and the Santiago Bernabeu, but Beckham is in awe of the Barcelona superstar.
"He is the best player in the world, simple as that. He came on when we were 1-0 up and they scored," Beckham said, as reported by The Sun.
"A player like him, 100 per cent fit or not, will always make the difference."
Barcelona's reward for overcoming PSG in the last eight of the Champions League is a semi-final clash with last season's finalists Bayern Munich, who were victors over Juventus in the last round.
Should Barcelona progress past Bayern, then they could meet Real Madrid in a mouth-watering Clasico final at Wembley, with Los Blancos due to play Borussia Dortmund in the final four.