Fabio Capello has made a bold claim after suggesting that Cristiano Ronaldo is not one of football's three "geniuses."
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner once again answered his critics on Tuesday night, scoring a hat-trick for Juventus against Atlético Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League clash.
Sure, Capello praised Ronaldo's ability as a footballer, but he didn't put him in the same bracket as three other legends of the sport.
According to the former England and Real Madrid manager, the three geniuses of football that he picked were Diego Maradona, Pelé and Lionel Messi.
"Ronaldo's an extraordinary footballer, but Messi is a genius," Capello told Sky Sport Italia.
"There are three geniuses in football: Pele, Maradona and Messi. Period. Ronaldo is very strong as he lets you win everything, but Messi is a genius and something else.
"I faced Messi when he was 16 years old and I was amazed. He did the same things he does today, but 20 years younger because he was born a genius.
"He invents things that others don't see. Ronaldo has made himself a champion, but not a genius."
While the two five-time Ballon d'Or winners have had their fierce rivalry for many, many years now, it didn't stop Messi from coming out and praising the former Madrid talisman's performance in the Champions League this week.
"Cristiano and Juventus were awesome," the Barcelona captain told Movistar. "It was a big surprise because I thought Atlético would be stronger.
"But Juventus overcame them and Cristiano had a magical night with three goals."
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