In the eyes of many lifelong soccer fans, former Ronaldinho is the greatest player to ever live - and he has plenty of hardware on the individual, club and international level to back up the argument.
But the Brazilian soccer legend himself believes that in the debate between Barcelona/Argentina megastar Lionel Messi and Real Madrid/Portugal megastar Cristiano Ronaldo for the best player in the world, the Barcelona star gets the edge.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Ronaldinho stated that he considers Messi the best soccer player in the world, and does not feel at all that his decision to retire from international soccer after failing to win a title for Argentina does not diminish his abilities or high-quality play at all.
"He is still the best football player in the world," the 2005 Ballon d'Or winner said. "The respect I have for him doesn't change at all."
"For me, Messi leaving international football does not change anything."
Messi was the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner this past year, edging out his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the distinction, and helped lead Barcelona to La Liga and Copa Del Ray titles in 2016.
However, Messi failed to lead the team to a second straight Champions League title - losing to Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals only to watch Real Madrid top Atletico in the Champions League Final on penalty kicks.
Despite winning a Gold Medal with Argentina's Under-23 team in the 2008 Olympics, Messi has not won a title with Argentina's senior squad since joining the team in 2005. Argentina infamously finished in 2nd in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. And in the 2007 and 2015 Copa America tournaments, Argentina also finished as the runner-ups.
Unfortunately for Messi, things would get no easier for in the summer of 2016.
Messi endured a bitter summer as well as Argentina failed to beat Chile on penalty kicks in the Copa American Centenario Final - during which Messi missed his vital penalty kick attempt. Weeks later, Messi would be convicted in a Spanish court of tax fraud and handed a 21-month suspended jail sentence - all while Cristiano Ronaldo helped lead Portugal to victory in Euro 2016 for the nation's first major title.