By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Cole was on the receiving end of Van Persie's goalscoring ability after the Dutch striker came off the bench to score a last minute equaliser against West Ham on Saturday to force a replay in the third round of the FA Cup.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder believes that Van Persie is the best player after the phenomenal duo of Ronaldo and Messi.
"You take away [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Van Persie is probably the best player in the world," he told the Guardian.
"He was playing wide for Arsenal for many years and getting a few injury problems but moving central means there is a bit less running and he can use his technique and finishing, which is just incredible.
"He is a joy to watch and a pain to play against."
Messi won the Ballon d'Or for a record fourth time on Monday evening while Ronaldo finished second to the Argentine yet again.