Ronaldinho: Messi is the best but Neymar will replace him
Ronaldinho Gaúcho has praised former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi as the world's best player but says Neymar will replace him at the pinnacle.
Messi is currently chasing down legendary German striker Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year and is just two goals from taking the record for himself.
"Cristiano has been making history for many years now, but Messi is the best in the world, and one day Neymar will be the best," Ronaldinho told ESPN.
As Messi closes in on Gerd Muller's record, Ronaldinho paid tribute to his former Barcelona team-mate.
"For me Messi is the best in the world," he added. "For the last few years he has played at a level of football we have never seen before.
"I'm very proud to speak of him, because I was there when he started off and now he is the best in the world, it makes me so happy.
"The game I remember the most is when he scored his first goal, because it came from my pass and I remember this game most vividly because he was just getting started.
"I had the chance to be there and live that moment. I'm very happy that his first professional goal came from a pass from me. Messi knows that there will always be a place in my heart for him."