"I can't say Lionel Messi is the best ever" - When Ronaldinho named 3 football icons as potential GOATs

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Ronaldinho on Lionel Messi not being the GOAT
Ronaldinho on Lionel Messi not being the GOAT

Brazilian legend Ronaldinho has always regarded Lionel Messi as one of the best players ever. However, he does not think the Argentine superstar is the greatest footballer of all time.

Speaking to Marca in 2019, Ronaldinho stated that Diego Maradona, Pele and Ronaldo Nazario are among the footballing GOATs, and he can't place Messi outrightly above them.

However, he added that the Inter Miami star is the best of the current generation, rating him above Cristiano Ronaldo. He said:

"I can't say Messi is the best ever, but he is the best of his time. There was Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo... it's hard to say that Messi is the best throughout the history of football."

Ronaldinho played 80 matches alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona before leaving the club in the summer of 2008. The duo combined for just nine goals, but the Brazilian assisted the Argentine for his first goal for the Catalan side.

Ronaldinho wrote about Lionel Messi in The Players' Tribune

Back in 2017, Ronaldinho wrote a letter to his youngster self in The Players' Tribune. The Brazilian legend took time to write a whole section about Messi.

"At Barcelona, you'll hear about this kid on the youth team. He wears number 10 like you. He's small like you. He plays with the ball like you. You and your teammates will go watch him play for Barcelona's youth squad, and at that moment you'll know he's going to be more than a great footballer. The kid is different. His name is Leo Messi," he wrote.

Ronaldinho added:

"You'll tell the coaches to bring him up to play with you on the senior side. When he arrives, the Barcelona players will be talking about him like the Brazilian players were talking about you. I want you to give him one piece of advice. Tell him, 'Play with happiness. Play free. Just play with the ball.' Even when you are gone, the free style will live on in Barcelona through Messi."

Lionel Messi went on to take over the #10 jersey from Ronaldinho after the Brazilian's exit. The Argentine played 778 matches for the Catalan side and scored 672 goals before leaving for PSG in 2021.

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Edited by Arshit Garg
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