When you ask anyone who knows anything about football to name the best retired player, many will suggest either Pele or Diego Maradona.
Especially those of a certain era. Those who saw Pele score countless goals for Brazil and Santos, and saw Maradona obliterate defences with ease.
The millennial might say Zinedine Zidane, who won everything there is to win in football, including the Ballon d’Or, World Cup and European Championship. A magician with the ball at his feet, Zidane is turning into quite a fine manager with Real Madrid, too.
Yet former AC Milan ace Kevin-Prince Boateng thinks one player triumphs over each of those three legends of the game.
The player Boateng named was, quite frankly, a genius.
Boateng has played for several teams, including Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, Milan and Schalke, and he reckons Ronaldinho was the best player he played with.
The Brazilian left Boateng, who himself has a fine highlight reel, speechless in AC Milan training with his tricks. It was Ronaldinho’s mission, according to the former Ghana international, to prove that he was the best in the world.
"At Milan he was no longer the Ronaldinho from his heyday, but when he wanted to, he showed what he could do with the ball and it was so impressive," Boateng told Fox Sports, per Marca.
"In those moments you realised he was the best player in the world, beyond Zidane, Pele, or Maradona.
"When he wasn't out the night before and had rested well, he came to training and told the players who he'd nutmeg that day, and he always did it.
"He could hit the crossbar however many times he wanted and juggled the ball like you couldn't imagine, it was impossible to find a player with such talent."
Boateng spent four years at Milan
Recalling his own stint at the San Siro, where Boateng won the Serie A in 2010-11, the midfielder added, per Goal: “The most beautiful moments I spent at AC Milan have been three: when we won the league title, the goal against Barcelona and when I did Michael Jackson dance at San Siro.
"I thought a lot before leaving Milan, they are a team of my heart, but for me at that time was the right thing to do.”