When Ronaldinho Named 3 Players Better Than Messi and Settled GOAT Debate

When Ronaldinho Named 3 Players Better Than Messi and Settled GOAT Debate

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Ronaldinho once avoided labelling Lionel Messi as the best player in football history
  • The two played together at Barcelona before Messi inherited the iconic number 10
  • Ronaldinho still picked Messi as superior to Ronaldo in the modern-era GOAT debate

Football great, Ronaldinho once made controversial comments when he was asked about Lionel Messi's place in football history.

Messi is often regarded as the best player ever, alongside his arch-nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo, with the two dominating every top competition for close to 15 years.

Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, GOAT debate, Pele, Maradona, Di Stefano
Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi during a Barcelona training session on October 22, 2007, in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ian MacNicol.
Source: Getty Images

One would have thought that having seen and trained with Messi first-hand, Ronaldinho would jump at the opportunity to declare him the best ever.

However, while admitting the Argentine was a legend in his own right, the Brazilian surprisingly fell short of declaring him the best ever and instead chose three other players he believed were superior.

Ronaldinho made his comments when Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or award in 2019.

"I'm glad Messi won the Ballon d'Or. We were also friends during our time in Barcelona. But I don't like to compare, and I find it difficult to say he is the best of all time. There was Diego Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo... it's hard to say that Messi is the best in the history of football. I can only say he is the best of his era," he said, as quoted by Sport Bible.

It would be interesting to see if Ronaldinho's sentiments have changed after La Albiceleste won a third FIFA World Cup title in 2022.

However, when it came down to choosing who is better between Messi and Ronaldo, the 2002 World Cup winner chose his fellow South American, as reported by Bleacher Report.

Messi yet to convince Ancelotti

At the same time, Sports Brief has reported that Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has insisted that Messi is not the best in football history.

The veteran had scored his 800th professional goal against Panama and at that point, was one short of the 100-goal mark for the national squad.

Despite leading Argentina to victory at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Ancelotti does not share the belief of fans and pundits across the world.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)