Barcelona head coach Tata Martino believes Lionel Messi is still a better footballer than 2013 Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi missed out on the Ballon d'Or for the first time since 2008 on Monday, with Real Madrid star Ronaldo taking 27.99 per cent of the vote compared to Messi's 24.72%, which meant he finished in second place ahead of Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery.
Martino praised Ronaldo for being the most impressive player over the course of the last calendar year - but insists the best footballer in the world plies his trade at the Camp Nou.
"Congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo, the Ballon d'Or recognises what he achieved last year," Martino told reporters on Wednesday.
"It is one thing for a player to be the best in one year, though, and another for being the best in the world. We have the best player [Messi] here."
Messi suffered an injury-hit 2013, but still managed to win more silverware than Ronaldo, who failed to secure a single trophy during the year.
However, the Portugal captain scored 69 goals for club and country over the course of the year, while his performances in the 2014 World Cup qualifying play-off round secured him some precious votes.