Ronaldinho stands by Messi: “He’s still the best in the world”


Earlier in January, Lionel Messi was awarded with his third FIFA ‘The Best’ award (2019, 2022 and 2023) after he tied with Norwegian striker Erling Haaland. However, the Argentine received more votes from national team captains and this held sway in ‘La Pulga’ winning the award for the second consecutive year.

In the days following the presentation, social media was a hotbed of speculation with calls of manipulation with many fans aghast that Messi secured the award again with most people feeling that Haaland’s individual merits last season were worthy of winning the award over and above any other player.

Appearing at Paris Fashion Week this weekend Ronaldinho was asked for his views on Messi scooping the individual award with the Brazilian stating: “I always avoid the controversy, but hey…Messi is one of the best of all time. For me he is still the best in the world,” affirmed the former Brazil international and ex Barça teammate.

Ronaldinho and Messi, a special bond

Although the pair have never been close friends, both Messi and Ronaldinho have shared key moments in their careers. The Argentine (36 years old) is 7 years younger than ‘Dinho’ and during their time at Barcelona, Messi was considered as the great new hope in a team where Ronaldinho took centre stage and the spotlight.

2006 was a key year in both of their careers as the Blaugrana secured the second Champions League in club’s history.

Ronaldinho departed the Catalan club in 2008 and would later have spells with Milan, Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro, Mexico’s Queretaro before hanging up his boots at Fluminense.



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