Lionel Messi isn't the best player ever, Ronaldinho is - says Gerard Deulofeu

Gerard Deulofeu and Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona

When it comes to the GOAT debate in football, a few names immediately spring to mind.

Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved it all during his career, thriving for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal.

Pele claims to have scored over 1000 goals in his career, while Diego Maradona was also a magician in the 1980s.

And there is, of course, Lionel Messi.

The Argentine forward has shattered record-after-record during what has been a quite remarkable career.

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Most people in world football today think he is the greatest player that has ever walked the planet.

But, not Gerard Deulofeu.

The Spanish winger actually played alongside Messi at Barcelona.

But he thinks that Brazilian great, Ronaldinho, was actually a better player.

Speaking to Serie A's official website Deulofeu said, per Marca: "For me, Ronaldinho is the best player in history.

"I met him, I went to see a match at the Camp Nou and he was sitting next to me. It was a wonderful experience."

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Interesting. Ronaldinho would have been tearing it up for Barcelona when Deulofeu was making his way through La Masia.

He never got to play alongside his hero but that clearly hasn't swayed his thought process.

Deulofeu, who signed for Udinese this summer, did still have some kind words for Messi.

"Messi is incredible too, I like him very much. I played with him for six months and he is a nice person, a great player. The whole world knows about Messi."

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GIVEMESPORT'S JAMES STROUD SAYS:

It's certainly a controversial opinion. When you are thinking about the best player that's ever lived, Ronaldinho definitely isn't someone that immediately springs to mind.

But that's mainly because of his longevity in the game. At his peak, Ronaldinho was incredible.

He could do things with the football that people could only dream of.

But his problem is that he wasn't as dedicated to the game as the likes of Messi and Ronaldo. That meant that his time at the very top of the game was relatively short.

And that's exactly why, for me, he cannot be regarded as the best player that has ever lived.

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