Barcelona legend Carles Puyol feels Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players the game has ever seen, but believes his former team-mate Lionel Messi is even better than the Portugal captain.
Messi and Ronaldo have won nine Ballon d'Or trophies among them, Kaka the last player to win the prestigious individual award in 2007 before their duopoly began, and are widely regarded as two all-time greats.
There has been plenty of debate as to who is the superior player and Puyol has now had his say on the matter.
"Ronaldo is one of the best players in the history of the game but Messi is better," Puyol told reporters.
"The competitiveness and rivalry between them is very intense and I think that has helped to improve them both because neither man relaxes.
"For me, Messi is the best. I have played with him and he has given me so much happiness. He is always improving and has been consistent for 10 years.
"I actually think that he gets better with every season and that is because of the passion he has.
"I hope that he wins something with his country. That would mean that aside from winning with his club, he will have won everything with everyone."