Former Brazil attacking midfielder Ronaldinho says Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is still the best player in the world despite failing to win an international trophy with Argentina.
The 29-year-old Messi retired from international football earlier this month after Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile on penalties.
A five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi has now lost four finals with his country, including at the 2014 World Cup against Germany, although he is Argentina’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 55 goals in 113 appearances.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo recently helped Portugal win the European Championships in France to reignite the debate as to who really is the best player on the planet at the moment, and Ronaldinho has backed his former Barca team-mate.
Ronaldinho 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.”
This past weekend, the 36-year-old showed he’s still got plenty of skills, scoring an impressive five goals in one match during the Indian Futsal League.