The ex-FC Barcelona star Ronaldinho admits that Cristiano Ronaldo is a “very complete player” but feels his former team-mate Leo Messi is the better of the two.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, along with Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich, have been shortlisted in the final three for the 2014 Ballon d’Or and FC Barcelona legend Ronaldinho believes that his former team-mate is a way better than his Real Madrid counterpart.
“We players asked [then FC Barcelona coach] Frank Rijkaard to bring Leo Messi into the first team’s training sessions,” Ronaldinho said. He was speaking to Spanish magazine El Enganche.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is a very complete player, but Messi is better because he has magic.”
Ironically, Messi took the place of Ronaldinho as the biggest star of FC Barcelona very shortly after his debut for the Catalan giants and the Brazilian star was shown the exit door by new boss Pep Guardiola. And when asked about the same, Ronaldinho refused to comment on his exit from the club.
Ronaldinho said: “Everything was beautiful and happened fast. A great friend of mine was about to become a part of the FC Barcelona board: Sandro Rosell.
“Before the offers came, he had asked me if I would play in Barcelona when they won the election and became the presidents, and I had said ‘Yes’.”
Ronaldinho also revealed in his interview that English champions Manchester United tried to sign him but he always wanted to play for FC Barcelona. “I was almost on my way to Manchester United and only the details needed to be put onto that deal. But in the last minute Rosell called me to tell me they would win the election. That made everything happen fast.
“I wanted to play for FC Barcelona. When I signed, I didn’t feel pressure, I felt joy. I had the chance that all of the players wanted, to play in a great club like FC Barcelona.”
Ronaldinho said that he is proud of his FC Barcelona days as he followed the footsteps of his idols Ronaldo and Romario at the Camp Nou. “I had the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my idols. I was proud to play where Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo had played and I had the chance to be Barcelona’s new ‘R’. I loved that.”