Dani Alves acknowledged Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as the toughest opponent he has faced in his illustrious career, but says former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer of all time.
Brazil full-back Dani Alves was a team-mate of Barca legend Messi for eight years between 2008 and 2016, winning six LaLiga titles, four Copas del Rey and three Champions League medals.
During that time, Alves was in direct competition with Ronaldo and Barca’s fierce rivals Real Madrid.
And when asked by FIFA to name his fiercest opponent, he replied: “I think Cristiano Ronaldo.”
But for the 34-year-old, now plying his trade at big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, Messi is the man that sits alone as the best ever, with Neymar – who swapped Barca for PSG in a world-record move last month – also ranking highly on his list.
“I say Messi because I’ve seen him play,” he added.
“Of the others I have heard what they speak of them, but I can’t corroborate it because I haven’t seen them.
“I choose Messi next to Neymar, they are the most spectacular I’ve seen.”
Dani Alves also ranked his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola as the best coach he has worked with, while describing Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis as the strongest defender he has come up against.
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