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Lionel Messi best footballer of all time - Ivan Rakitic

​Cristiano Ronaldo is unlucky to have played in the same era as “the best player in history” Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic says.

football Updated: Dec 11, 2017 11:54 IST
By Dejan Kalinic
By Dejan Kalinic
Omnisport
Lionel Messi,FC Barcelona,Ivan Rakitic
Lionel Messi has won 29 trophies with FC Barcelona. (AFP)

FC Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo, but said there was “only one number one” – Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo joined Messi on five Ballons d’Or after claiming the individual honour on Thursday.

However, Rakitic has no doubt about who is better, saying it was unfortunate Ronaldo had played in the same era as Messi, the best in history.

(Read | Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez help FC Barcelona restore five-point La Liga lead)

“You already know my opinion and I have a lot of respect for Cristiano, who is one of the best in history,” the Croatia international said, via Mundo Deportivo, after a 2-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday.

“But he has played with the best player in history, which is Leo Messi. There is only one number one, Messi.

“Those who come behind are unlucky enough to have coincided with him.”

(Read | Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane praises Cristiano Ronaldo after “perfect week”)

Goals from Luis Suarez and Messi saw Barca past Villarreal as they made it 12 wins in 15 league games this season, retaining a five-point advantage at the top.

Rakitic was full of praise for another of his team-mates – goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

“We are not surprised by the good performances of Ter Stegen,” he said.

“He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has been playing at a good level.”

First Published: Dec 11, 2017 09:29 IST