Without his unparalleled self-belief, it’s safe to assume that Cristiano Ronaldo would not have scaled the remarkable heights that he has during his illustrious career.
The Portuguese forward was naturally talented, yes, but arguably not as much as certain other footballers.
It’s thanks to his ridiculous work ethic and incredible desire to be the best that he has five Ballon d’Or awards in his trophy cabinet.
After picking up his latest Ballon d’Or earlier this month, Ronaldo told France Football that, in his eyes, he’s the greatest footballer in history.
Yep, above the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona and, of course, a certain Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo: I'm the best player in history
“I don’t see anyone better than me,” Ronaldo told France Football, per the Independent. “No player does things that I cannot do myself, but I see things others can’t do.
“There’s no more complete player than me. I’m the best player in history — in the good and the bad moments.”
The 32-year-old’s comments, as you can probably remember, caused a stir at the time.
While Ronaldo is now unquestionably one of the greatest players of all time, should he really be calling himself the greatest?
It seemed *too* arrogant, even by Ronaldo’s standards.
Xavi responds to Ronaldo's arrogant comment
Two weeks on from those comments, however, and Barcelona midfielder Xavi has finally responded in an interview with Tot Costa de Catalunya Ràdio.
And fans of Messi will totally agree with what the legendary World Cup winner has said.
"Messi does more things compared to Cristiano,” the Spaniard is quoted as saying by AS. “Messi is the best.
“If Cristiano considers himself the best player in history, that's fine, but those of us who see him train, there is no comparison.
“Messi is the best in history and we don't see it any other way."
Xavi: Messi is the best - it's more than obvious
On the Argentina international, Xavi added: "I imagine all of the managers in the world going out to stop Messi. Even if you do what Athletic Club did, man-mark him like in the Copa del Rey final, they still come out on top. He can't be defended against.
“Messi is the difference-maker and we always tried to give the ball to him in space with time to unbalance them. Messi is the player that makes the most difference in the world. It's more than obvious."
Messi v Ronaldo go head-to-head again on Saturday
Messi and Ronaldo go head-to-head again on Saturday lunchtime in the first La Liga Clasico of the season so far.
But which of the two superstars will prevail on this occasion? Let us know by leaving a prediction in the comments below.
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