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Juventus superstar Ronaldo and Barcelona captain Messi are often placed in a heated discussion over who can lay claim to the status of football's GOAT.
Speaking to the Associated Press in 2011, Cruyff believed that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was "on his way" to becoming one of the all-time greats.
"Yes, he's [Messi] on his way," Cruyff said.
"He's just played now four years or something like that and the others have played at least 14 years, so he's got 10 more years to go with same quality and, hopefully, same success.
"A little more difficult [for Ronaldo], I think.
"All the people mentioned were players from the street and Ronaldo is more of a physical player, while in the others mentioned are not physical players [but] pure technical players -- pure technique."
Messi, 33, is frequently compared with fellow Argentine legend Maradona over who is the best player the country has produced.
And Cruyff believes that the main difference that will separate the two Argentines will come down to their World Cup success.
"[Messi's] got qualities similar to Maradona, who was a player, too, who did a lot of individual stuff," the three-time Ballon d'Or winner said.
"People will connect a good player with the results they achieved in their career and Maradona, of course, won the world championship and that's what Messi didn't win and it will be [decided on] something like that.
"But for me, today, Messi is a great player."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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