Brazilian legend Ronaldo says he believes Lionel Messi is the best player in the world ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The battle between the Real Madrid and Barcelona superstars to be recognised as the best in the world came to the fore once more this week as both hit superb hat-tricks in the Champions League.
Ronaldo, twice a winner of the Ballon d'Or, admits there is little to choose between the pair but says he personally prefers Messi.
Speaking in an interview with AS, "El Fenomeno" said: "I would stick with Messi," he said. "It is difficult. It is like when you are looking to buy a house and they offer you many nice ones, but you need to pick one.
"Messi seems more complete to me, or at least more decisive. In the important moments, he appears and scores goals."
With Messi and Ronaldo battling it out at the very top of the game, the former Brazilian striker believes that there should be more players challenging the duo for the right to be the best.
For me, there is less competition now," he explained. "I do not want to be the typical guy saying things were better in my day, but I look around now and I just see those two.
"Maybe Neymar is coming, but he has a long way to go yet. But in my time there were many great players. I competed with [Zinedine] Zidane, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, [Michael] Owen, [Luis] Figo, [Gabriel] Batistuta… there were many players who made their teams great.
"Now I just see Cristiano and Messi, although the truth is they are very, very good."
Asked about Jose Mourinho's comments that he is the "real" Ronaldo, the 37-year-old replied: "We do not look alike when we play, I was more a centre-forward, and you could say he is a second striker.
"Cristiano, in his most recent stage at Madrid, has learned to score goals. And scoring goals is the most beautiful thing in the world. If you score so many goals, you must be very good. Nobody scores a lot of goals by getting lucky."