Is Lionel Messi the most gifted footballer of all time?
Many would argue that the Barcelona and Argentina superstar is; however, his former Barcelona teammate Deco doesn’t agree.
The retired Portuguese midfielder, who played alongside Messi for several years at the Camp Nou before Pep Guardiola sold him to Chelsea in 2008, insists there was a player in the Barcelona dressing room who was “far more gifted” than the world-class Argentine.
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No prizes for guessing who Deco was referring to.
Ronaldinho lit up the Camp Nou for several seasons during the mid-2000s and made a habit of producing moments of genius every time he took to the pitch.
Deco: Ronaldinho more gifted than Messi and Ronaldo
Deco believes Ronaldinho possessed more natural talent than both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Cristiano was young and athletic, very competitive," Deco, who played alongside Ronaldo at international level, was quoted as telling Sony Six by Goal. "Messi worked hard to do what he can do with a football now at Barcelona.
"Ronaldinho was a natural with special ability. Whenever we gave the ball to him, the moves and goals were from a different world. He was far more gifted than Leo or Cristiano.
"When we did not know what to do, he would create that opportunity for you."
Ronaldinho in 2005: Messi is better than me
However, even Ronaldinho himself conceded - in an interview with FourFourTwo back in December 2005 - that Messi, still just a teenager at the time, was better than him.
“Best in the world? I’m not even the best at Barca,” Ronaldinho told the British football magazine shortly before Messi became a global superstar.
Soon enough, Messi had overtaken Ronaldinho as Barcelona’s main man.
Who was born with more talent: Ronaldinho or Messi? Have your say by leaving a comment below.