Legendary Barcelona defender Carles Puyol feels Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the finest players the game has ever seen, but believes his former team-member and Barcelona star Lionel Messi is even better than the Portugal skipper.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have won nine Ballon d'Or trophies among them, veteran Brazilian midfielder Kaka the last player to win the prestigious individual award in 2007 before their duopoly began, and are widely noted as two all-time greats.
There has been lots of debate as to who is the exceptional player and Puyol has now had his say on the matter.
"Ronaldo is one of the best players in the history of the game but Messi is better," the former Spain international told reporters.
"The competitiveness and rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi is very intense and I think that has helped to better them both because neither man relaxes.
"For me, Messi is the best. I have played with him and he has given me so much happiness. Messi is always improving and has been consistent for 10 years.
"I actually think that he gets better with every season and that is because of the passion he has.
"I hope that Messi wins something with his country. That would mean that aside from winning with his club, he will have won everything with everyone." Puyol added