With the incredible talents of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo still playing football, people don’t need to cast their minds back too far when having to name the greatest footballer in history.
While the younger generation will no doubt name either the Messi or Ronaldo when asked, those slightly older may refer back to Pele or Diego Maradona.
Of course, football is all about opinions and there are plenty of great footballers in the history of the game that deserve a mention.
But, if you’ve played with one of these players for both club and country, surely you would name him as the best player in ever?
Not if you’re Nani.
Because the Fenerbahce winger has named Ronaldinho, and not Ronaldo, as the greatest player in history.
Nani was participating in a question and answer session with the Europa League’s official Facebook page when he was asked the tough question.
“The best player in history? Ronaldinho,” Nani said. “Because when he was at his best nobody could compare.
“He always had a smile on his face as well. He had skill, scored fantastic goals and put magic into the game.”
It’s a fairly surprising answer, despite Ronaldinho's undoubted world-class talents.
One Ballon d’Or, one World Cup, one Champions League and three league titles in major European countries represents a fairly decent career for the Brazilian.
Compare that to Messi, who has won five Ballon d’Or awards, four Champions Leagues and seven league titles and you realise that Nani’s decision is a little baffling.
While it’s surprising that he didn’t pick Messi due to his achievements, it’s even more surprising that he didn’t choose Ronaldo based on his relationship with him.
The 29-year-old joined United in 2007, spending seven-and-a-half seasons at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo had already established himself as a United great by the time Nani arrived, having been at the club for four seasons and had just won his first Premier League trophy.
During the two campaigns that Nani and Ronaldo played with each other in Manchester, they won two league titles, a League Cup, a Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup before Real Madrid signed the superstar.
But they are still currently teammates for Portugal where Nani and Ronaldo have picked up 212 caps between them.
Things might be a little awkward in the Portuguese camp in France this summer if Ronaldo catches wind of Nani’s comments.
While Nani doesn’t believe Ronaldo is the best player he’s ever played with, he does think that Sir Alex Ferguson was the best manager he’s had.
“Working with Sir Alex is something I'll never forget,” he added. “He's the best I've worked with.
“I learnt so much from him on the training ground. Even today, talking about him is inspirational and a motivation. I'm so happy to be part of his story.
“He is someone I'll remember all my life.”
Who do you think is the greatest footballer of all time? Let us know in the comments box below!
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