Chennai, July 18: Brazilian legend Ronaldino picks former teammate Lionel Messi as the best player over Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldinho is currently in India to take part in inaugural Premier Futsal held in the country. [Premier Futsal Schedule]
He is playing for Goa 5s and is the leading goal scorer in the tournament, after he netted 5 goals last evening (July 17) against Bengaluru 5s, as they won 7-2.
During a conversation with the press, he was asked to choose between Messi and Ronaldo, to which he said: "For me, Messi leaving international football does not change anything.
"He is still the best football player in the world. The respect I have for him doesn't change at all.
"And if he really has decided to leave international football then the sport will miss his presence, and so will the fans."
Ronaldinho played for FC Barcelona from 2003 to 2008. During his tenure at the club he had nurtured and encouraged the growth of Lionel Messi, who had been promoted to the senior side in 2006.
Teh Brazilian hails Messi for doing the same thing with Brazilian star Neymar. Lionel Messi has guided Neymar at the club and is helping him to become a better player.
"I am not there to see. But I believe the attention and dedication I had for Messi, is the same thing Messi is doing for Neymar because it's very important for a more experienced player to share things with younger players, Ronaldino said."
"And that I believe is one of the reasons that Neymar has adapted to the club and their style of play."
Ronaldinho, who is without a club at the moment, is cloesly linked with a move to Indian Super League this season.
About a possible to India, he said: "I am uncertain but I will go to a place where I feel very comfortable and will consider this possibility (the Indian Super League)."