Ronaldinho is in no doubt that his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi is the best player in the world.
The Brazilian superstar, who is currently a free agent after leaving Fluminense, told Marca: "He is the best in the world, and there's nothing more to be said.”
However, just last month, Ronaldinho has told reporters - per the Mirror - that Neymar “on current form” is the best player in the world. But we’re guessing he meant with the exception of Messi who, at the time, was sidelined with a knee injury.
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Messi, who is likely to win the Ballon d’Or for a record-breaking fifth time next month, has a huge amount of respect for his former teammate.
In an interview with Barca TV this week - per Goal - Messi revealed that Ronaldinho promised him the No. 10 shirt months before he announced he was leaving the Catalan giants.
Messi on the No. 10 shirt
However, the Argentina international has confessed that he would not have accepted the famous shirt number had he looked closer at what Ronaldinho had achieved earlier in his Barcelona career.
"Before leaving the club [Ronaldinho] was coming off a few months where he was thinking about things," Messi said. "He had it in his mind that he was leaving and he told me to have his number. I took it without looking at what he had done with the shirt. If I did, I would not have taken it."
Ronaldinho had to leave for Messi to flourish
Ronaldinho played an integral role in helping Messi to feel comfortable in the first team following his promotion from Barcelona ‘B’.
However, in order to allow Messi to flourish - and to help prevent the Argentine genius being led astray by the flamboyant Brazilian off the pitch - Barcelona officials felt it was in the club’s best interests to allow Ronaldinho to leave in 2008.
It proved to be an inspired decision.
Is Lionel Messi the world’s best player - or does that title belong to Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo? Let us know by leaving a comment below.