Former Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho is one of the most celebrated footballers of his generation. The Brazilian star took a young Lionel Messi under his wing at the Camp Nou and kickstarted their era of dominance, as the Catalan giants became a force to be reckoned with Europe once again.
Lionel Messi might be considered Barcelona's greatest ever player, but Ronaldinho's impact at the club can't be overstated. The World Cup winner dazzled fans with his magic and made them fall in love with the game, while he also devastated opponents with his trickery on the ball.
Speaking to Marca via SportBible, Ronaldinho shed light on his former teammate Lionel Messi but admitted that it is difficult to say that the Barcelona man is the greatest footballer of all time. The Brazilian named three more players from different eras who could be part of the discussion, alongside Lionel Messi.
"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."
"There was [Diego] Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo... it's hard to say that Messi is the best throughout the history of football. I can only say he is the best of his era."
People fell in love with Ronaldinho at Barcelona, claimed Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi also holds Ronaldinho in high regard and has spoken several times about the impact he had at Barcelona. The Argentine credited his former teammate for making the Catalan club a competitive force again and lavished praise on his overall impact.
"Ronaldinho was responsible for the change in Barca. It was a bad time and the change that came about with his arrival was amazing."
"In the first year, he didn't win anything but people fell in love with him. Then the trophies started coming and he made all those people happy. Barca should always be grateful for everything he did."
Barcelona and Lionel Messi have blown hot and cold this season, as they continue to find their feet under Ronald Koeman. The 2020-21 season could well be Lionel Messi's last in a Barcelona shirt, with the Argentine reportedly keen on leaving the club on a free transfer in 2021.
Published 07 Nov 2020, 15:11 IST