By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Succeeded by Pep Guardiola at the Camp Nou, Rijkaard has watched on with great interest as Barcelona revolutionized its style of play under the Spaniard and notched up 14 titles in the process. Current manager Tito Vilanova kept the team's characteristics and the players have repaid his faith by climbing to the top of La Liga.
Speaking to FIFA.com, Rijkaard believed that no side has managed to match the Catalans consistently, although he acknowledged that teams led by Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho have come close.
"There’s no magic bullet, but you have to adapt to their style, most of the clubs who have had success against Barcelona have relied on a highly organised and disciplined defence," he stated.
"Inter and Chelsea have both sent Barcelona out of the Champions League and then you have Real Madrid [who won La Liga in 2011-12]. You could call it the 'Jose Mourinho recipe for success', which he began while he was at Chelsea. If you play Barcelona that way 10 times, you might beat them once, but it certainly doesn't guarantee success."
Barcelona also boasts two out of three finalists for the Ballon d'Or, but the choice for the honour is clear for the Dutchman.
"I'm going for Lionel Messi, because I think he's the best player on the three-man final shortlist and he's performed brilliantly this year," Rijkaard explained.
"He's an incredible person. Messi is not simply a uniquely talented footballer. He's also strong mentally, very bright and exceptionally dedicated to his job. Personally speaking I enjoy watching him play and I'm deeply proud of him and what he has achieved. Quite simply, he's the best.