Former Barcelona midfielder Deco believes comparisons made between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not fair on either player.
The Clasico rivals are widely regarded as the two greatest players in the world, but the former Portugal international believes trying to choose between them is impossible.
“It is a privilege to have played with both of them,” he told Perform.
“But I think it is unfair to compare as they have different styles, and are so good with their styles, that it would be unfair to judge who is better.
“Last year, Cristiano was better in the first six months, I mean he had better numbers, but in the final part Messi got better numbers.”
Deco was the man replaced by Messi when the Argentine made his Barcelona debut in 2004 and believes that the club’s record goalscorer has taken the Catalan side to another level.
“I saw Messi growing at Barcelona,” he added. “[He] is the cherry on top of the cake. Messi is able to make this already very good team be something else.”
Deco’s international career with Portugal also coincided with the debut of a young Ronaldo and the Fluminense playmaker highlighted the Real Madrid star’s mental fortitude as a key reason for his success.
“He impressed me with his winning mentality since he was very young,” Deco continued. “He is an example of a person who overcame [problems] and we must admire this.
“He has a winning mentality that honestly I have never seen. I have never met a player even close to the mentality that the one he has.”