Ronaldinho knew Lionel Messi was going to be the world’s best player when the Argentine was just 17-years-old.
In an interview with ESPN, basketball star Kobe Bryant revealed Ronaldinho’s prophecy when Barcelona visited Los Angeles.
“Kobe, look I’m going to introduce you to the guy who is going to be the greatest player of all time,” Ronaldinho said to the Los Angeles Lakers player.
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Over 10 years later, it turns out that Ronaldinho was right.
In his glittering career, Messi has captured five Ballon d’Or awards and a World Cup Golden Ball award and is widely considered to be the best to play the game.
Though it was never difficult to predict Messi would be a star, predicting a 17-year-old will surpass Maradona and Pele as the world’s greatest takes some confidence.
In 506 competitive games for the Catalan giants, Messi has scored 432 goals and tops Barcelona’s all-time scoring chart.
And, at 28-years-old, there’s still plenty of life left in the forward.
After Bryant questioned Ronaldinho’s statement, the former Barcelona and AC Milan player asserted his prediction once again.
Bryant continues: “I said and you what? You are the best.
“But he said no, no. This kid right here is going to be the best.”
Ronaldinho left Spain for Italy in 2008, allowing Messi to take over the reins as Barcelona’s number one star.
In an interview with ESPN FC in 2013, the Brazilian revealed that his only regret in football was not playing more seasons with Messi.
Messi at the height of his powers playing alongside Ronaldinho would have been a truly wonderful pairing. Ronaldinho’s samba skills combined with Messi’s exquisite dribbling would have been unstoppable.
The video reveals an interesting thing about Ronaldinho. He isn’t just a brilliant entertainer - he can also see into the future.
Someone should ask him for this week’s lottery numbers.
Watch footage of Lionel Messi for Barcelona B in the 2004-05 season.
Would you class Ronaldinho as one of the world's greatest? Have your say in the comment section below!