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Brazilian legend Ronaldinho has argued that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi might not be the best player of all time.
The 39-year-old ex-Barcelona star played alongside Messi for four years at the Camp Nou before completing a stunning move to AC Milan in 2008.
According to Spanish newspaper Diario AS, Ronaldinho insisted that legendary players like Diego Maradona, Pele and Ronaldo were also in contention for the GOAT status.
"I'm glad for Messi because he's a friend, besides he's been a banner of Barcelona," he said.
"I don't like comparisons because it's hard to identify who is the best in history, there's Diego Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo, I can't say that Messi is the best ever, he is the best in his time."
Messi, who won a record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or earlier this month, has fond memories of his time playing alongside Ronaldinho.
And the 32-year-old Argentine forward praised the Ballon d'Or and World Cup winner for how he "mentored" him.
He explained last month: "Ronaldinho helped me a lot.
"I came into the dressing room at 16-17 years of age, seeing all those footballing giants made it tough.
"But he mentored me and made me feel comfortable, and I loosened up.
"Afterwards on the pitch, I always looked for him but we didn't have many years to enjoy together.
"Besides, we didn't play as much at that time. I would have liked to play more with Ronaldinho."
Messi has been in scintillating form for Barcelona this season and broke Cristiano Ronaldo's record for most hat-tricks in La Liga history last week.
The Argentina captain has made 15 appearances across all competitions and scored 14 times this season.
And Messi insisted that Barcelona would fight for every trophy ahead of the current campaign.
"I'll say the same as last season," the six-time Ballon d'Or winner said in August.
"Together, we're going to fight for everything again.
"We have to value the league. Eight in 11 years is great for any club.
"We'll see with time how difficult that is. We have new ideas and a new enthusiasm."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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