Former Barcelona forward Rivaldo has opposed the idea that Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer in the history of the sport.
After reaching an incredible seventh ballon d’Or milestone earlier this week, Messi has further propelled himself in the conversation to be considered among the best footballers ever.
And Rivaldo, who is the Blaugrana’s sixth top goalscorer of all time, has insisted that although Messi deserved his record seventh Ballon d’Or, he is still not the greatest footballer of all time.
“He [Messi] deserved the award based on his performances for Argentina as they won the Copa America – a trophy they have coveted for many years – and he was the best player of the tournament,” the Brazilian told Betfair.
“There will always be arguments about the Ballon d’Or, as there are so many voters from all over the world and there is so much footballing talent around.
“I could have made the case for Karim Benzema, along with [Robert] Lewandowski and Messi, but in the end, the award must go to one player.
“It’s possible the Argentinian’s amazing career also had some influence on those voters who were wavering.
“He will be remembered as one of the best players ever, but it’s tough to say he already is the best, as he is still chasing a World Cup title with Argentina.
“Other players, such as Pele, won the World Cup many times so I don’t think Messi should be considered the best ever.
“He is up there, though, and would make the top three.”