Gerard Pique believes Lionel Messi deserves to lift the Ballon d’Or for a record fourth time when the award is presented next month.
The Spain star is well placed to make a comparison between the Argentine, who is his team-mate at Barcelona, and his perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo, with who the centre-half played at Manchester United.
Pique believes it is Messi’s consistency that puts him above the Portuguese ace, and even the legendary Diego Maradona.
“I respect those who believe that Cristiano Ronaldo deserves the Ballon d’Or, but Leo is from another planet while Cristiano is only the best among humans,” Pique told Radio Associacia de Catalunya 1.
“Ronaldo is a hard worker, very good, but there’s nothing you can do when faced against Messi.
“What makes him the best is that other [great] players have had ups and downs, like Maradona. He wasn’t half of what Leo is at Barca.
“Messi has had so many good years in his career that he deserves to be considered the best ever,” the defender added.
Messi has won three Ballons d’Or in succession and he could enter the record books if he once again claims the award.