When Ronaldinho named three players better than Lionel Messi amid GOAT debate vs Ronaldo
During his illustrious career at Barcelona, Messi earned an impressive 35 club trophies at the Camp Nou, setting a new club record. This included 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League titles.
Following his move to Paris Saint-Germain, the legendary Barcelona player continued to accumulate trophies, winning the Ligue 1 title in his debut season.
Additionally, Messi ended his prolonged trophy drought in international football by helping Argentina secure a victory over their South American rivals Brazil in the 2021 Copa America final.
The PSG player is currently the record holder for the Ballon d'Or, with two more awards than his fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo. He most recently won the France Football award in 2021.
During Messi's early days at Barcelona, Ronaldinho was his teammate at the Camp Nou, playing alongside the Argentine captain until he left the club in 2008.
Even though he and Messi were friends at Barcelona, the winner of the 2002 World Cup stated that he doesn't like to compare Messi with other football legends from the past.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca after Messi’s sixth Ballon d’Or win, Ronaldinho said:
“I’m glad Messi won the Ballon d’Or. We were also friends during our time at Barcelona.
“But I don’t like to compare, and I find it difficult to say he is the best of all time.”
Ronaldinho, who officially retired from football in 2018, said that he could see PSG forward Messi as the “best of his era” ahead of Portugal star Ronaldo.
Nonetheless, the ex-AC Milan and Barcelona standout is of the opinion that the likes of Diego Maradona and the Brazilian pair of Pele and Ronaldo should also be considered as contenders for the greatest football player of all time.
“There was Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo... it’s hard to say that Messi is the best throughout the history of football,” Ronaldinho added.
“I can only say he is the best of his era.”
Messi has previously hailed the impact of Ronaldinho during his time at the Camp Nou, with the Brazilian arriving at Barcelona at a “bad time” as quoted by Sportbible.
The recipient of seven Ballon d’Or awards asserted that his former Barcelona colleague Ronaldinho captured the hearts of many during his highly productive tenure at the club.